Nonverbal behaviors in social interaction: An extension to affect control theory
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractNonverbal behaviors impact our perceptions of interaction. Many sociological theories have attempted to understand how perceptions work in interaction. Affect Control Theory is one which has had particular success in understanding the ways in which people perceive events generally; with this research I hope to be able to make that theory even stronger and more predictive by including nonverbal behaviors in its scope. A four-study research design is presented. The first study collected the affective meanings of nonverbal behaviors independent of event contexts. Study two paired nonverbal behaviors with other behaviors to see how they combine in people's perceptions to create new affective meanings. The third and fourth studies required performing two experiments (one with paper stimuli and one with videotaped stimuli) to see what effects the inclusion of nonverbal behaviors has on impressions people form of events and event elements. I found that single nonverbal elements each have distinct meanings and create distinct impressions in those who view them; that nonverbal behaviors work in combination with behaviors to create modified impressions of situations; that nonverbal behaviors play as important a role as behaviors in those combinations; and that nonverbal behavior ratings are essential to understanding the meaning of behaviors in event contexts. This project has increased our understanding of the relationship between nonverbal behaviors and impressions that are formed in the context of interpersonal interaction. In addition, it increased the utility of Affect Control Theory in predicting event perceptions by allowing for more accurate understanding of the complex situations in which people interact.
Degree ProgramGraduate College