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Women's and Men's Nonverbal Communication

Similarities, Differences, Stereotypes, and Origins

Ana Bognaro

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Women's and Men's Nonverbal Communication

Women's Men's and Nonverbal Communication "When presenting ourselves to the world, one of the major facets of identity to be presented is our gender." Stereotypes About Nonverbal Gender Differences: Women are seen as more expressive, involved, warm, fluent, and skilled in their nonverbal communication than are men. Stereotypic beliefs about nonverbal behavior of men and women are well developed and widely shared. What are the Actual Nonverbal Differences Between Men and Women? Judit A. Hall - 1984
Meta-analysis of nonverbal gender differences: Nonverbal Behaviors: Smiling: Women smiled more than men.

Younger ages showed little difference.
- Dodd, Russel and Jenkins (1999); over 16,000 school yearbook

Gender difference was especially large when people were aware of being observed, were under explicit instructions to get acquainted, were engaged in self-disclosure, and were adolescents. - LaFrance, Hecht, and Levy Paluck's (2003)

"Women's smiles perfidious"?
Measuring Duchenne (enjoyment) smiles and non-Duchenne (social) smiles women displayed more of both kinds than men. Facial Expressiveness: Women's faces were significantly more expressive, than men's.

(not sure whether it means more emotions or simply more movement) Gazing: ~during conversation: Females engaged in higher levels of gazing than males did

The least gaze occurred when men interacted with men and the most gaze occurred when women interacted with women.

Physical distance increased= men's gazing increased,
women's gazing fell off abruptly

"Visual dominance ratio": the person is more likely to
gaze while speaking compared to listening; higher
in more dominant or powerful persons. Head, Hand, and Arm Gestures ~fluid hand movements that accompany speech

Women engage in more expressive movements
during conversation than men do. Body Movements and Positions: Men were observed to be more restless, expansive,
relaxed and less involved.

Women engaged in more self-touching during interactions than men. Interpersonal Touch: Women were more likely to touch others
than men were. The high level of touch
shown between women <-> Men may be
particularly reluctant to touch other men.

Handshaking: more notable between men In younger, less committed couples, there is stronger tendency for the male to touch the female <-> In older, established couples the
balance of touching is likely to be shifted to
the female. Men are more likely to touch women with their
hand, but women are more likely to initiate
nonhand touches. Voice Qualities and Vocal Behaviors: Men's voices are louder, lower pitched and contains more speech disturbances, like: repetitions, omissions, stutters,
sentence incompletions.

Men also tend to use fewer listener responses and back-channel responses.

Women voices were rated more pleasant, less dominant, more enthusiastic and more anxious.
(These studies are based on listener's global impression) Accuracy In Nonverbal Communication A person can be an accurate expressor in two ways:

- spontaneous
- posed

Females were more accurate on both definitions of accurate sending. Sending Nonverbal Cues Noticing and Recalling Nonverbal Cues Women were more influenced by nonverbal cues than men were.

They were more accurate than men in remembering the appearance and dynamic nonverbal cues.
(Women's appearance was easier to remember than was the appearance of Men) Decoding Nonverbal Cues Females' advantage of decoding nonverbal cues was very evident and was relatively constant across variety of cultures and age groups of perceivers, as well as across the gender of the people whose cues were judged. How Accurate Are the Stereotypes? Stereotypes are overwhelmingly correct in substance Briton and Hall correlated the effect sizes for the belief data shown in Table 11.1 Both men and women held very accurate beliefs about the patterning of the nonverbal gender differences. How big are nonverbal gender differences? Big enough to be noticeable in everyday life. How much of the variation in the observed behavior is accounted for by gender? "Not much." "...the nonverbal gender differences are larger on average than other gender differences reported in the social-personality literature." Where does the differences come from? Complex question... nonverbal behavior is ambiguous in meaning
not possible to do controlled experiments
there are many different causes that either coexist in producing a given gender difference or apply to different behaviors. Biological base: Women may have evolved to be more sensitive to nonverbal cues than men because of advantages in terms of survival of offspring. - Andersen (1998) "Feminist" base: Nonverbal gender differences are rooted in gender differences in power, status, and dominance. - Henley (1977) very inconsistent! Sociocultural theory: societal norms, roles, and expectations are clearly consistent with the observed gender differences.

Social pressures bear down on both males and females. Conformity to group standards can be a potent motivator all by itself. Thank you for your attention!
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