Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Cues Controlling Social Interaction

Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Cues Controlling Social Interaction

Article excerpt

GESTURE PRAGMATICS Cues Controlling Social Interaction Boker et al. (in press). Something in the way we move. JEP:HPP.

When we talk to each other face to face, words are not all that pass between us. We are highly sensitive to verbal intonation and prosody, as well as to movements of the head, hands, and face. One well-documented gender-based difference in conversational behavior is that women tend to nod their heads more often and more pronouncedly than men do (Helweg- Larsen et al., 2004, Psychol Women Q 28:358). It is also true, however, that the speech patterns and the movements and gestures we produce in face-to-face conversation depend strongly on whom we're talking to. For example, regardless of our own gender, when we talk to women, we tend to bob our heads more than we do when talking to men. The question is, what cues trigger this response? Do the physical cues signaling the gender of our conversation partner make us bob our heads, or does the actual head bobbing of our partner prompt a mirroring response? …

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