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Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 193–206 | Cite as

Nonverbal Reactions to Conversational Interruption: A Test of Complementarity Theory and the Status/Gender Parallel

  • Sally D. Farley
  • Amie M. Ashcraft
  • Mark F. Stasson
  • Rebecca L. Nusbaum
Original Paper

Abstract

The present research examined nonverbal reactions to conversational interruption (a status-organizing cue). We predicted that the nonverbal reactions to interruption (versus a control condition) would show a different pattern of results than gender differences. Participants (N = 150) were paired with one of four confederates and randomly assigned to either an interruption or control condition. Nine nonverbal behavioral reactions were coded by independent raters. Participants responded to interruption with reciprocal interruptions and increased nodding, as compared to a control condition. Gender differences diverged from those associated with condition. Women smiled, agreed, nodded, and laughed more than men, showing evidence of a greater attempt to facilitate the flow of conversation. We discuss these findings with regard to the dimensions of affiliation and verticality.

Keywords

Interruption Nonverbal behavior Status Complementarity Gender 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Tom Mitchell and Alan Arrowsmith for their helpful comments on this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally D. Farley
    • 1
  • Amie M. Ashcraft
    • 2
  • Mark F. Stasson
    • 3
  • Rebecca L. Nusbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Applied Behavioral SciencesUniversity of BaltimoreBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Sociometrics CorporationLos AltosUSA
  3. 3.Metropolitan State UniversitySt. PaulUSA

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