Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 91–108 | Cite as

Interruptions and nonverbal gender differences

  • Carol W. Kennedy
  • Carl Camden


The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in selected nonverbal behaviors associated with interruptions. Six graduate student groups involving 18 female and 17 male subjects were videotaped. The data for the study were 140 cross-sex interruption sequences and a matched, randomly selected sample of noninterruption sequences. A category system using self-related activity, gestures, body lean, facial expression and eye gaze was developed and used to code the data. There were no significant findings related to interruptions in the categories of self-related activity or gestures. Women leaned away from the group significantly more often than did men and when leaning away, women were more likely to be interrupted. Women were also more likely to be interrupted when smiling than were men, and women smiled significantly more when taking the speaking turn. Finally, women were interrupted significantly more often than men when they did not look at the turn-taker. The high educational status of the subjects was examined in the discussion of the findings.


Gender Difference Category System Social Psychology Facial Expression Graduate Student 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol W. Kennedy
    • 1
  • Carl Camden
    • 2
  1. 1.the School of Nursing at Ohio State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationCleveland State UniversityCleveland

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