Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 141–153 | Cite as

The effects of interruption, gender, and status on interpersonal perceptions

  • Laura F. Robinson
  • Harry T. Reis


This study examined: (1) how violations in turn-taking, ie., interruption, are perceived, (2) whether attributions toward an interrupter vary according to gender and status, and (3) how individuals who adopt cross-sex interruptive styles are seen. Subjects listened to a four-minute audiotape of a conversation and rated conversants on masculinity, femininity, competence, sociability, attractiveness, and traditionality. Sex of interrupter, style of interruption (statement, question, no interruption), and status were varied. Results suggest that interruption leads to negative personality attributions. Interrupters were seen as less sociable and more assertive than individuals who did not interrupt. They were also perceived as more masculine and less feminine than those who did not interrupt. Few sex differences emerged, indicating that women who interrupt are not penalized relative to men.


Social Psychology Negative Personality Interpersonal Perception Personality Attribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura F. Robinson
    • 1
  • Harry T. Reis
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of RochesterRochester

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