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Nonverbal behavior of teachers: Some empirical findings

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Abstract

The effects of systematically varied verbal and nonverbal components of teachers' evaluative behavior upon children's perceptions and attitudes were studied within an experimental classroom. Subjects were 126 sixth-grade students who were removed from their classrooms to participate in a vocabulary lesson. Within each experimental condition a teacher employed one of four evaluative styles: (a) verbally and nonverbally positive, (b) verbally positive and nonverbally negative, (c) verbally negative and nonverbally positive, or (d) verbally and nonverbally negative. The data analysis indicated that teachers' verbal behavior influenced student perception and attraction. Nonverbal behavior influenced student perception and attraction, but only when the teacher was female. The implications of these findings for the study of the adult-child interaction are discussed.

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Reference Notes

  1. Rosenthal, R., Archer, D., DiMatteo, M. R., Koivumaki, J. H., & Rogers, P. L.Measuring sensitivity to nonverbal behavior: The PONS Test. Address given at the first international Conference on Non-verbal Behaviour, The Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Ontario, May 11, 1976.

  2. Etaugh, C., & Harlow, H.School attitudes and performance of elementary school children as related to teacher's sex and behavior. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, 1973.

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Author information

Correspondence to Robert L. Woolfolk.

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Woolfolk, R.L., Woolfolk, A.E. & Garlinsky, K.S. Nonverbal behavior of teachers: Some empirical findings. J Nonverbal Behav 2, 45–61 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01127017

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Keywords

  • Data Analysis
  • Social Psychology
  • Empirical Finding
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Nonverbal Behavior