The Importance of Nonverbal Cues in Judging Rapport

Abstract

This study examined the relative impact different channels of communication had on social perception based on exposure to thin slices of the behavioral stream. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that dyadic rapport can be perceived quickly through visual channels. Perceivers judged the rapport in 50 target interactions in one of five stimulus display conditions: transcript, audio, video, video+ transcript, or video+audio. The data demonstrated that perceivers with access to nonverbal, visual information were the most accurate perceivers of dyadic rapport. Their judgments were found to covary with the visually encoded features that past research has linked with rapport expression. This suggests the presence of a nonverbally based implicit theory of rapport that more or less matches the natural ecology, at least as it occurs within brief samples of the behavioral stream.

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Grahe, J.E., Bernieri, F.J. The Importance of Nonverbal Cues in Judging Rapport. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 23, 253–269 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021698725361

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Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Visual Information
  • Past Research
  • Relative Impact
  • Thin Slice