Individual and Group Differences in Nonverbal Behavior

  • Richard Heslin
  • Miles L. Patterson
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)


The purpose of the present chapter is to discuss some of the major factors affecting the role of nonverbal behaviors in social interaction. That is, while our intention in this volume is to try to discover and analyze the regularities in the social use of nonverbal behavior, we are all too aware of the limitations in generalizing these patterns across different circumstances. Another way of describing this concern is to appreciate that a number of factors interact with or moderate the patterns of nonverbal behavior discernible in various social processes. While the potential list of individual-difference variables could include a variety of different factors, this treatment will center on just three of them—culture, sex, and personality. Other factors such as age, socioeconomic status, or even occupation and religion may very well influence an individual’s nonverbal expression, but culture, sex, and personality seem to be more important and consistent in their effect.


Nonverbal Behavior Interpersonal Distance Seating Arrangement Personality Correlate Expressive Reaction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Heslin
    • 1
  • Miles L. Patterson
    • 2
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.University of MissouriSt. LouisUSA

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