Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 120–138 | Cite as

Coordinated movement and rapport in teacher-student interactions

  • Frank J. Bernieri


High school students in 19 teaching dyads were measured for their degree of interpersonal coordination and rapport. Two types of movement coordination were identified and rated by a group of untrained judges: the degree of perceivedmovement synchrony, and the extent ofbehavior matching. Ratings of movement synchrony in true interactions were significantly greater than similar ratings in pseudo interaction control clips (i.e., video clips that appeared to be of the teacher and student interacting but were, in fact, a combination of video clips of each interactant recorded fromdifferent points within their interaction). Self-ratings collected from interactants indicated a strong relationship between participants' rapport and the degree of movement synchrony perceived by raters. This relationship remained even after observer ratings of each interactant's friendliness, a possible confound, were partialled out. This result provided empirical evidence for the hypothesized relationship between rapport and interpersonal coordination (Tickle-Degnen & Rosenthal, 1987). Ratings of behavior matching did not differ significantly between the true interactions and pseudo interaction control clips. Behavior matching failed to correlate significantly with dyadic rapport. It was, however, significantly predictive of self-reported anxiety.


High School Empirical Evidence Social Psychology Strong Relationship Similar Rating 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank J. Bernieri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOregon State UniversityCorvallis

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