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Guessing Teachers’ Differential Treatment Of High- And Low-Achievers From Thin Slices Of Their Public Lecturing Behavior

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Groups of high school students and adults viewed 10-second clips of 28 unfamiliar teachers’ nonverbal behavior in public lecturing to their entire classrooms, and were asked to guess how these teachers would usually behave differently toward high- versus low-achievers in normal classroom dyadic interaction. The judges did not view any teacher–student interaction. As hypothesized, the students significantly (r = 0.40) predicted teachers’ differential behavior (TDB) as evaluated by the actual classroom students of those teachers, whereas adult judges could not guess TDB from the clips. The TDB guesses of the two groups of judges were unrelated to each other. Students’ expertise and implicit knowledge about covariation between distinct aspects of teacher behavior likely reflects a combination of cognitive and motivational factors, not shared by adult judges.

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Correspondence to Elisha Babad.

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Thanks are extended to Miri Avneri-Cohen for her helpful assistance; to Avraham Lifschitz for providing the high school sample; to Yaakov Kareev for his advice; to Mosko Alkalai for his insight; and, as usual, to Dinah Avni-Babad for her help and participation. The author is also thankful to the Editor and two anonymous Reviewers for helpful advice and suggestions.

This research was partially supported by United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation Grant 1997053 to Elisha Babad and Robert Rosenthal.

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Babad, E. Guessing Teachers’ Differential Treatment Of High- And Low-Achievers From Thin Slices Of Their Public Lecturing Behavior. J Nonverbal Behav 29, 125–134 (2005).

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