Interpersonal Sensitivity: Theory and Measurement

By Judith A. Hall; Frank J. Bernieri | Go to book overview

perceiver. Third, although it is known that some information can be rapidly communicated, researchers of nonverbal communication still do not know much about the necessary or optimal time frames for various sorts of information. Fourth, little is known about how the perceiver integrates the vast amount of available information. Finally, researchers do not know much about the ongoing interaction process, as individuals adjust to feedback.

Perhaps the 21st century will be more productive in addressing the many paradoxes of interpersonal sensitivity. The study of emotion is resuming its rightful place in social psychology. The methods of cognitive psychology are again addressing basic notions of vocal and facial perception. The study of nonverbal communication is making its way into the mainstream (DePaulo & Friedman, 1998). There may be a greater willingness to step outside the boundaries of classic laboratory self-report judgment studies.

Perhaps not. As computers increasingly dominate many areas of communication, the nonverbal cues are minimized or made artificial. Furthermore, normal feedback processes are interrupted. A certain unease often seems to result, as we view e-mail accompanied by emoticons, or listen to a computer-synthesized voice responding to our push-button (or voice-recognition) telephone choices. Will a world of virtual communication derail our efforts to understand interpersonal sensitivity? Or will it perhaps provide the means to digitalize and quantify the cues that have been exchanged for millennia, studied for a century, and yet still elude capture?


REFERENCES

Allport, G. W. (1961). Pattern and growth in personality. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Ambady, N., & Rosenthal, R. (1992). Thin slices of expressive behavior as predictors of interpersonal consequences: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 256–274.

Babad, E. (1993). Pygmalion: 25 years after interpersonal expectations in the classroom. In P. D. Blanck (Ed.), Interpersonal expectations: Theory, research, and applications (pp. 125–153). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bernieri, F. J., Gillis, J. S., Davis, J. M., & Grahe, J. E. (1996). Dyad rapport and the accuracy of its judgment across situations: A lens model analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 110–129.

Brunswik, E. (1956). Perception and the representative design of psychological experiments, 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Buck, R. (1984). The communication of emotion. New York: Guilford.

Bugental, D. E., Kaswan, J. W., & Love, L. R. (1970). Perception of contradictory meanings conveyed by verbal and nonverbal channels. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 16, 647–655.

Bugental, D. E., Love, L. R., & Gianetto, R. M. (1971). Perfidious feminine faces. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17, 314–318.

Cooley, C. H. (1912). Social organization. New York: Scribners.

Cunningham, M. R. (1977). Personality and the structure of the nonverbal communication of emotion. Journal of Personality, 45, 564–584.

Darwin, C. (1872). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: J. Murray.

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