Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 96–104

Effect of individual differences in nonverbal expressiveness on transmission of emotion

  • Howard S. Friedman
  • Ronald E. Riggio

DOI: 10.1007/BF00987285

Cite this article as:
Friedman, H.S. & Riggio, R.E. J Nonverbal Behav (1981) 6: 96. doi:10.1007/BF00987285


This study tested the possibility that individual differences in nonverbal expressiveness may function as a mediating factor in the transmission of emotion through social comparison. In a quasi-experimental design, small groups consisting of one expressive person and two unexpressive people were created in which the participants sat facing each other without talking for two minutes. Self-report measures of mood indicated that the feelings of the unexpressive people were influenced by the expressive people but the expressive people were relatively unlikely to be influenced by the unexpressive people. The findings have implications for the role of nonverbal communication in the emotional side of group interaction.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard S. Friedman
    • 1
  • Ronald E. Riggio
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaRiverside

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