Gender, Power, and Nonverbal Behavior

  • Marianne Schmid Mast
  • Sabine Sczesny

Relatively stable and pronounced gender differences in nonverbal behavior have been well documented in the literature (Hall, 1984; Hall, Carter, & Horgan, 2000; LaFrance, Hecht, & Paluck, 2003; McClure, 2000; Vrugt & Kerkstra, 1984). Moreover, women are traditionally found in less powerful positions than men in most societies, a difference reflected in the unequal number of women and men who occupy top leadership positions (Carli, 2001; Eagly & Carli, 2007; Eagly & Karau, 1991; Eagly & Sczesny, 2008). These two facts have inspired much theorizing about the nature of these nonverbal gender differences and the role that status or power plays in it. The most famous theory is Henley’s (1977) subordination hypothesis, which posits that the nonverbal behaviors exhibited more by women than by men are indicative of women’s lower power. This theory has encouraged valuable and much needed research, and today we have an impressive body of research on power, gender, and nonverbal behavior to...


Nonverbal Behavior Female Target Visual Dominance Male Target Female Leader 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne Schmid Mast
    • 1
  • Sabine Sczesny
    • 2
  1. 1.University of NeuchatelNeuchatelSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of BernBernSwitzerland

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