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Nonverbal communication and the vertical dimension of social relations
Title of the book
The Psychology of Social Status
New York, NY: Springer
Cheng J. T., Tracy J. L., Anderson C.
The present chapter reviews the relation of a person’s power or status to their nonverbal communication. For the power/status dimension, we use the term “vertical dimension of social relations” to encompass a wide assortment of conceptually related definitions including hierarchical role (preexistent or manipulated), personality dominance, social status, social class, and feelings of power. The following topics in nonverbal communication are reviewed: (1) beliefs and stereotypes about the relation of the vertical dimension to nonverbal behavior, (2) perceptions of verticality based on viewing nonverbal behavior, (3) impact of power-relevant bodily positions on behavior and cognition (embodiment), (4) relation of people’s verticality to their nonverbal behavior, (5) accuracy of judging others’ verticality, and (6) relation of people’s verticality to accuracy in interpreting others’ states and traits, and in recalling their verbal or nonverbal behavior. In all domains, the evidence indicated that verticality is related to nonverbal communication though the relations can be complex and inconsistent. Much research remains to be done on mediators as well as moderators, including differences among the different definitions of the verticality construct.
Vertical dimension, Power, Status, Dominance, SES, Nonverbal behavior, Embodiment, Accuracy, Interpersonal sensitivity
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