Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 Review of literature
 Analysis of data
 Discussion and conclusions
 Biographical sketch

Group Title: descriptive analysis of nonverbal status displays demonstrated by dental educators in clinical and/or laboratory settings
Title: A descriptive analysis of nonverbal status displays demonstrated by dental educators in clinical and/or laboratory settings
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099480/00001
 Material Information
Title: A descriptive analysis of nonverbal status displays demonstrated by dental educators in clinical and/or laboratory settings
Physical Description: x, 181 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Maple, Marilyn, 1931-
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1985
Copyright Date: 1985
Subject: Body language   ( lcsh )
Denists -- Attitudes -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Self-perception   ( lcsh )
Self Concept   ( mesh )
Teaching -- methods   ( mesh )
Nonverbal Communication   ( mesh )
Education, Dental   ( mesh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph.D   ( mesh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF   ( mesh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1985.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 170-179.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by Marilyn Maple.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099480
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000529972
oclc - 14638868
notis - ACV2373


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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
        Page vii
    List of Tables
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
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    Review of literature
        Page 41
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    Analysis of data
        Page 98
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    Discussion and conclusions
        Page 126
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    Biographical sketch
        Page 180
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Full Text







To my Father, Karry Kelley, who taught

me life is a song and dance,

To my Mother, Agnes Kelley, who taught

me courage and perseverance,

To my friend, Peg Foust, who taught

me to have faith in myself,

To Dr. Arthur Lewis, who demonstrated to

me the meaning of wisdom.


"Awake! awake o sleeper of the land of shadows, wake!


I am in you and you in me, mutual in love . .

Fibers of love from man to man

Lo! we are One."

William Blake

My committee members have been my colleagues, my con-

science, my mentors, my friends, my self:

Dr. Arthur Lewis, chairman of my committee, has guided

me through the often times perilous Sea of Academe, always

calm, always pointing out the beauty of the scenery even

amidst storms and turbulent waters.

Dr. Anthony Clark (Tony) has given strength to me,

challenging me for the best I could do, prodding me to

explore dimensions of myself, and making the experience of

producing a doctoral dissertation one of the most memorable

of my life.

Dr. Kenneth Christiansen has been a dear friend and

the person who encouraged me eighteen years ago to go back

to school. I thank you for your human energies expended

toward making me realize my worth and through it, I know yours.

Dr. Richard MacKenzie, I appreciate your efforts and sage

advice in facilitating my research in the College of Dentistry;

this study would have not been half as interesting or as

vital if it had not had your input.

Dr. Jaime Algina, I not only thank you, but thank God

for a professor who can teach statistics to a right hemi-

sphere person with a Disney World head. You didn't tell

me to turn back; I'm so grateful.

Dr. James Wattenbarger, friend and pragmatist who could

see how my educational interests and ideals could be trans-

lated into a real world of application, thank you for the

real world.

Dr. Carol Taylor, who has been more than a friend and

the person who taught me how to read the "medical tribes,"

thank you. You introduced me to living, applied anthropology,

and methodology and taught me to love all the natives.

There were those who were not formal members of my com-

mittee but whose spirit and contributions were so much a

part of this doctoral experience as the paper upon which it

was written:

Dr. Laura Perkins, without whom this dissertation would

never have been written, I thank you most deeply for your

patience and your empathy for one who truly suffered deep

fears and trepidation relative to learning statistics and

applying them. I thank you for teaching me and for holding

my hand.

Dr. Ronald Bass, friend, who has encouraged me, struc-

tured my outlook, helped me in my understanding of the

intricacies of some of the components of my study, thank

you for your time and your advice.

Candace Caputo, friend of long standing, thank you for

wanting to type this dissertation, thank you for taking so

much time and being so meticulous and accommodating.

Margaret Foust (Peg), dearest friend, who long ago

believed in me when I didn't, thank you for your love and

encouragement, and most of all your endurance.

Finally, to all those fine educators in the College of

Dentistry who aided and participated in this study, I extend

my deepest thanks and appreciation.

To all the above, the words "thank you" are merely an

overlay beneath which lie my true feelings of friendship

and humble love.

"Humble love is the most effective force, the most

terrific, the most powerful, unequaled by any other force

in the world." Fyodor Dostoievski



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . .. . .. iii

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . . viii

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . . ix


History of University of Florida
College of Dentistry . . . . . . 5
The Problem . . . . . . . . . 8
The Purpose . . . . . . . .. . 9
The Rationale . . . . . . . . . 10
Definitions . . . . . . . . .. 17
Nonverbal Communication . . . . . .. 19
Concepts Relative to Status . . . . .. .27
Self-Concept . . . . . . . . ... 30
Cognitive Style . . . . . . .. 31
Research Design . . . . . . .. 33
Delimitations . . . . . . . .. 38
Limitations . . . . . . . . .. 39
Organization of Dissertation . . . . .. .40


Overview of Nonverbal Communication Research . 42
Research and Nonverbal Communication in Education. 48
Nonverbal Communication and the Health-Related
Disciplines . . . . . . . . 69
Dental Literature and Nonverbal Communication 74
Status and Nonverbal Communication ..... . 75
Relationship of Preceding Research to
Present Study . . . . . . . .. 81


Population Sample . . . . . . .. 84
Materials . . . . . . . . . . 85
Orientation . . . . . . . . . 86
Testing . . . . . . . .... . . 90
Instruments . . . . . . . . .. 90
Nonverbal Status Observations . . . ... 93
Hypotheses . . . . . .. . . . . 93
Statistical Analysis . . . . . ... 95
Chapter Summary . . . . . .. . . . 95


ANALYSIS OF DATA . . . . . .

Hypothesis 1 . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 5 . . . . . . . .
Comparison of Student and Control Groups .
Hypothesis 2 . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 3 . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 4 . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 6 . . . . . . . .
Chapter Summary . . . . . . .


Review of Observations . . . . .
Implications of This Study . . . .
Suggestions for Future Research . . .









AND REFEREES . . . . . . . .


REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . .

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . . . .


















1 Repeated Measures ANOVA Comparing Experts
and Students on the Total Number of
Observed Status Displays . . . . .

2 Repeated Measures ANOVA Comparing Experts
and Students for Each Rank on the Total
Number of Observed Status Displays . .

3 Summary Information on the Number of
Status Displays . . . . . . .

4 Comparison of the Professional Ranks for
Observed Displays . . . . . .

5 Comparison of Dental Students and
Control Group Nonverbal Observations .

6 Comparison of Dental Students and Control
Group on the Tennessee Self-Concept Test

7 Correlations of Tennessee Self-Concept Test
and Nonverbal Status Displays . . .

8 Summary of Educators' Self-Concept Scores

9 Summary Information for Degree of Match
of Cognitive Style Mapping . . . .

10 ANOVA and Duncan's Multiple Range Test
Analysis Relative to Nonverbal Codes
Usage Within Rank . . . . . .

. . 108

S. 109

S. 111

. . 113

. . 117

. . 120

. . 123

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Marilyn Maple

May, 1985

Chairman: Arthur J. Lewis
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction

This study examined the nonverbal status displays of

educators as they utilize them in a learning environment and

how they are perceived by students and experts. It correlates

the observations of educational experts and students with the

number and kinds of status displays, employed in terms of

seven codes: body and eye movement, voice, spatial relation,

touch, waiting time, personal appearance, and environment.

Nonverbal status displays were also correlated with self-

concept as measured by the Tennessee Self-Concept Test and

preferred learning style tested with the cognitive style

mapping test.

Results showed a significant difference between the

observations of students and experts across three ranks of

educators: assistant professor, associate professor, and

full professor. In each instance the experts observed more

status displays than the students. At the rank of instructor

students observed more status displays than experts only

where the instructor was a woman.

There were significant correlations between student

observations of nonverbal status displays and their scores

on the Tennessee Self-Concept Test in the specific non-

verbal areas of body and eye movement, spatial relations,

and waiting time. Educator self-concept scores and the

number of status displays showed a significant correlation

with the Total positive score on the Tennessee Self-Concept

Test and with specific components of the test such as Self-

Criticism, Behavior, and Self-Satisfaction.

There was a significant difference as to type and use of

nonverbal status displays. Instructors, assistant professors,

and associate professors used body and eye movement, personal

appearance,and voice most frequently but to varying degrees

and sometimes in concert with other nonverbal codes. Full

professors also used body and eye movement and personal

appearance most frequently but waiting time replaces the use

of voice as a major nonverbal status display.

The study demonstrated that students are aware of

faculty nonverbal status displays. Accordingly it is

possible that such displays may impede classroom communication.


Nonverbal expression is a major constituent in the

communication process. In the transmission of information

on an interactive basis, such as takes place in an educa-

tional setting, nonverbal communication accounts for an

estimated 65 percent of the meaning (Birdwhistell, 1952).

In this, the acclaimed age of information, human

communication systems come under close scrutiny (Ferguson,

1980; Naisbitt, 1982). It has been suggested in recent

literature (Deken, 1981; Evans, 1979; Ferguson, 1980;

Naisbitt, 1982) that education systems and methodologies

must change dramatically to accommodate the needs of a

society reliant, to a great extent, upon the communication

of new and constantly changing information. Trends show

increased usage of technology to train and educate (Deken,

1981; Ferguson, 1980; Naisbitt, 1982). But technology alone

does not solve the problem of transmitting information. For

although technologic media provide an array of methods by

which messages can be communicated, the very mechanistic

nature of the technologic process demands that there be

ample time given also to humans communicating with humans

(Naisbitt, 1982). High technology, as explained by Naisbitt

(1982), demands high touch, the need for human input and

quality human communication. So the question has to be

asked, what is the quality of human communication,


especially as it is found today in our centers of learn-


Quality in communications is essential in that poor

quality may promote a tendency to rely more heavily upon

technology for communications. Technology may be capable

of transmitting messages clearly; it is not capable of

fulfilling the human need in an epistemological sense.

It is a difference illustrated by contrasting the acquisi-

tion of information with that of knowledge.

In addition to the need for quality human communication,

is the need to assess how this new and all-encompassing use

of technologic communication is affecting those professionals

whose job it is to communicate--specifically, the teachers.

We need to know if teachers feel as if they are being replaced

by machines. If they do, is it reflected somewhere in their

personality, attitude, self-concept? Do they feel any loss

of status and do they communicate their feelings through

nonverbal expression?

Nonverbal expression, as demonstrated by both teachers

and students, is an important component of learning inter-

actions (Birdwhistell, 1980; Hall, 1959; Knapp, 1972).

Nonverbal behavior communicates messages through channels

which are referred to as "codes"; these codes are 1. envir-

onment, 2. artifacts of personal appearance, 3. voice,

4. touch, 5. pauses or waiting time, 6. body movements, and

7. spatial relations (Knapp, 1972). Although content sent

through nonverbal codes may vary, one of the most frequently

observed messages is that of "status." Expressed nonverbally,

status is a corporate part of most human interactions (Reiss,

Fieldbinder, & Abrams, 1976). Status fluctuates; it is

usually in the process of being lost, gained, regained or

maintained. Ardrey (1966), in Territorial Imperative,

suggested that the study of status in human behavior might

open the door to greater understanding of the human condi-

tion as it is expressed in verbal and nonverbal messages.

Classroom teaching provides an ample opportunity to

observe status being displayed through nonverbal channels.

The need to acquire and possess status predominates in the

learning setting from the standpoint of both the student and

teacher. The student needs to acquire knowledge in order to

possess or attain status, whereas the teacher needs to

acquire and maintain status in order to obtain the attention

of the student and affect the transmission of information

(Mach, 1972, p. 5). Many behavioral displays, verbal or

nonverbal, are a threat to the effectiveness and status of

the teacher and to the quality of education being received

by the student.

Such threatening behaviors might well find a source in

the surge of importance that technology is enjoying today.

This technology is infiltrating all areas of society includ-

ing that of education. Teaching media, i.e., computers,

television etc., are capable of challenging the status of

teachers. If the addition of such technology interferes with

human teaching and communications,then there is bound to be a

behavioral reaction on the part of the teacher to preserve


Status is operationalized as the relative ranking of an

individual, usually by some social standards. But at the

root of status is self-concept. In effect, an individual

with low self-esteem may find it difficult to acquire status

in the social setting. Thus, how one values oneself or

perceives oneself is of major significance to understanding

how one preserves status (Fitts, 1970).

How to be individual and to be recognized as that

individual is an ongoing human struggle. It is an inherent

component of the everyday classroom or learning setting.

Teachers want to teach in their way while students want to

learn in their way. Learning styles differ with individuals

and may affect how an individual acquires and transmits

knowledge (Hill, 1968).

If an individual is forced to transmit or receive know-

ledge by means that are unfamiliar, threatening, or not in

keeping with individual learning styles, the person may in

turn suffer insecurity and damage to the self-concept as

reflected in nonverbal displays that demonstrate a need to

maintain or regain status. As an example, how does the

teacher feel who prefers to use lecture as a teaching mode

but is encouraged to utilize electronic or self-paced,

self-instructional methods to teach?

It is important to study nonverbal status displays as

they are demonstrated in learning settings in order to

ascertain their effects on communication between student and

teacher. In addition, to further evaluate the effects of

such status displays, correlations could be made between

such variables as self-concept and preferred learning styles

as to possible effects in prompting nonverbal status displays.

All of this, in order to reflect the reality of communication

today, should be tested in an environment where educational

technology is an integral part of the educational system.

History of University of Florida College of Dentistry

The concept of a College of Dentistry at the University

of Florida was initiated in the Florida Legislature in 1957.

However, no action was taken to actually establish a dental

school until 1963 when funds were appropriated for planning

and employing the initial faculty.

In 1966, Dr. Edmund F. Ackell was appointed Dean of the

College of Dentistry. It was through his guidance, his own

unusual educational background, and the desire of the dental

advisory committee to establish the most modern of dental

schools, that the University of Florida College of Dentistry

became the first of its kind in this country.

Ackell was both a D.M.D. and an M.D. He received his

dental education at Tufts. His medical education was obtained

at Case Western Reserve, a school known to be progressive in

its approach to medical education. At the time Ackell

matriculated at Case Western Reserve, the College of Medicine

there was experimenting with methods of teaching. Traditional

methods of teaching dealt with the body and its systems cate-

gorically by such specialized disciplines as neurology,

hematology, cardiology, etc. Case Western departed from

these methods and was employing what was known as the body

organ method of teaching. This method focused on teaching

the body through a study of each of the major organs and

thus the information that had formerly been taught in dis-

cipline-specific classes was now synthesized and incorpora-

ted into the study of each organ. The traditional method

left synthesis of the specialized knowledge to the student;

the body organ method tended to interrelate the information

and aid the student in synthesis.

As this new system of teaching developed, there was a

need to have the student visualize these complexly organized

and integrated systems. Thus, slide tapes and the newest of

media, television, were incorporated into the curriculum

(Ackell, 1974, personal communication).

Ackell was appointed Dean of the University of Florida

College of Dentistry in September, 1966. Through his guid-

ance and his having been exposed to a mediated type of

learning, and through the farsightedness of the advisory

committee, a mediated format for learning was established as

the basis for the new dental curriculum. Modularized

learning, which enabled a student to be self-instructed and

self-paced, was the format. Modules, consisting of blocks

of information transmitted by means of print media, audio

visual media, and the human medium (required lectures) and

structured by means of detailed syllabi, formed the cogni-

tive foundation of the curriculum. The modules were then

implemented by practicums that paralleled the cognitive

information with practical applications of that knowledge.

In 1968, funds were appropriated for the construction of

the Dental Sciences Building. Then in 1969, Ackell became

Provost for the University of Florida's Health Center (title

later became Vice President for Health Affairs). The first

class of dental students matriculated in September, 1972.

Today this college has a faculty of 96 and a student

body of 305. Nine of the faculty members are female and

69 of the dental students are female. There are two black

faculty members and 12 black students.

The breaking down of barriers between sexes, races, and

disciplines was a tenet of Ackell's that concerned him

throughout the years he served as Vice President of the Health

Center and Dean of Dentistry. He felt that health profes-

sionals had to stop guarding their disciplinary turn and

begin interacting, sharing ideas and engaging in inter-

disciplinary research. He had also been concerned about how

to maintain quality communications in the teaching setting

while advocating a mediated educational curriculum (Ackell,

1984, personal communication).

Because of the curriculum design there were, for the

most part, no formal classrooms in dentistry. Basic science

courses given to first year dental students were mostly

taught by faculty members who were not members of the College

of Dentistry but who were specialists in those sciences.

These first year basic science classes were taught in tra-

ditional classroom settings with required lectures, but

ensuing classes were not. The clinical setting replaced

the formal teaching environment for the duration of the

students' dental education.

Because of its technology-based curriculum and its

concern with communications, the University of Florida College

of Dentistry provided an ideal environment in which to con-

duct this study.

The Problem

With the rapid growth of computer-media-based education,

exploration of the quality of human communications in this

new educational setting is necessary. There is a need to

know more about the reactions of educators as they encounter

the new technology. There is also a need to know how the

student perceives the educator against this new technologic


This study involves the observation of nonverbal status

displays as demonstrated by educators in clinics and

laboratories, or atypical classroom settings, at an insti-

tution of higher education where the educators are trained

specialists, not trained teachers. These educators function

in the clinic and laboratory, not in the classroom. Regular

classroom curriculum has been supplanted by mediated, self-

paced, self-instructional education. Clinic and laboratory

practicums parallel each module in the mediated program.

Thus, educator-student interactions take place in the

laboratory or clinic. The teaching process consists of

educators' checking the work of students, looking at models,

evaluating their work with patients, etc. So teaching is

more a matter of checking student performance than a formal

didactic process. Thus, the University of Florida College

of Dentistry presents an opportunity to observe educators

in a nontraditional teaching situation, permitting the

recording of behaviors that may indicate how they react to

the curriculum, the students, and their own role in this

type of educational setting.

The Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible

associations) between nonverbal status displays demonstrated

by dental educators, and observed by dental students and

experts, relative to self-concept and the preferred learning

styles of both educators and students.

It was assumed that every educator brought to the teach-

ing environment ascribed status, that is, "the social level

or rank dictated by ones job, education, and financial condi-

tions" (Mach, 1972, p. 52). It is hypothesized that the

degree to which educators are secure with the teaching

environment, method of teaching, and with themselves, will

be reflected in the numbers of nonverbal status displays

exhibited by these educators during a normal teaching

session. The teachers in this study have learned their

profession at institutions that are traditional in structure.

Their training, however, did not include teaching methods

and practices. This lack of teacher training might well be

translated into insecure behaviors and impaired communica-

tion practices in interacting with students.

To secure data, observations were based on student

perceptions of educator nonverbal status displays. Student

observations were then compared with observations of a

trained educator participant group. Student observations

were correlated with student levels of self-concept and

preferred learning style. Data were then compared with

the self-concept and preferred learning styles of the

professor subjects in order to assess the relationship, if

any, between nonverbal status displays, self-concept, and

preferred learning styles.

The Rationale

If new technology has the potential to reduce the amount

of human interactions that take place in the learning setting,

then it is important that those giving instruction employ

good communication skills to effect positive student-educator

interactions. In order to ascertain what is necessary to

communicate well in an interaction, it is essential to

determine those elements that inhibit good communication.

In Information and Information Processing Theory

(Shannon & Weaver, 1949), the focus is on the transmission

of messages. In their model, communication begins at the

source where the message is formulated and signs are

selected to be transmitted. The transmitter encodes the

message into signs and sends them over a channel to a

receiver where the receiver converts the signals into a

message. Another element in Shannon and Weaver's theory

is "noise." Noise is any disturbance in the channel that

distorts or otherwise masks the signal (p. 5).

If a teacher transmits an educational message to students

and at the same time sends nonverbal messages on several

channels, the nonverbal messages can become "noise" in the

reception of the signal in the original message. If the

nonverbal messages explain or enhance the verbal educational

message, there is no difficulty; however, if the nonverbal

messages have a non-rational basis, not supportive of the

message, the reception can be distorted.

The use of nonverbal status displays is based on emotional

expression, as almost all nonverbal communication carries

emotional overtones (Burgoon & Saine, 1978). If this is the

case, then a teacher who feels insecure, ineffective, and

generally nervous could transmit distracting messages

through nonverbal channels. Besides, some of these expressed

insecurities may also be translated into nonverbal status

displays in an attempt to cover up the ineptitudes. The

effort involved in achieving and maintaining a status that

is not ascribed could in effect become "noise" in the class-

room. Thus, the theoretical basis for this study is grounded

in Shannon and Weaver's theory, with nonverbal status displays

serving as potential "noise" that might distort or impede

effective communication (learning).

Status, or a need for status, is communicated in the

nonverbal mode by means of codes or channels. Birdwhistell

(1952) states, "While no single channel is in constant use,

one or more channels are always in operation" (p. 70). The

classroom is an ideal situation in which to assess the degree

to which nonverbal status behavior is being transmitted and

perceived, in that there is a clear difference in status

between student and teacher. One of the more important

models for determining status is the cost-reward paradigm

adapted for psychological analysis by Thibaut and Kelley (1959).

Within the model, status is predicated on the capacity of

one individual to reward others with whom he or she inter-

acts, the number of rewards received, the types of costs

incurred and the number of investments he or she makes.

Teacher-student situations fit very well with this model

in that the teacher has the status to hand out the reward

of grades and make the acquisition of grades either easy

or difficult. The status accorded the teacher is further

enhanced if the teacher can maintain status with few con-

cessions of time and emotional investment.

In higher education involving the health related pro-

fessions where much practical learning takes place in a

clinical setting, the student may be exposed to varying

levels of professional status, including instructors,

assistant, associate, and full professors. Exposure to

several professional levels of educators can acquaint the

student with numerous status demonstrations in that there is

a high level of competition between the various professional

levels, each trying to acquire and maintain status. That

same competitive spirit is generic to almost all of those

seeking admittance to the health profession disciplines due

to the many who wish to be selected and the few who are

chosen. Yet once admitted, and if destined to become an

educator, the same competitive force that gained them entrance

to the profession may become a negative force working against

the student in teacher-student interactions due to the need

to acquire and maintain status.

The clinical setting as an educational environment places

emphasis on communication not only between educator, student,

but sometimes also the patient or client. When a patient is

involved, status distance or difference between educator and

student is often maximized, resulting in numerous nonverbal

displays. The clinical setting also is the educational stage

where psychomotor skills are demonstrated. The clinical

teaching setting presents some unique circumstances relative

to potential communication and status behaviors. The educa-

tor who is teaching in the clinical setting cannot lecture

as in a classroom. But the clinic is a setting where much

teaching is done through the demonstration of psychomotor

skills. Often, those who are highly specialized and pro-

ficient in such skills have difficulty in communicating

other than through demonstration. Thus, significant in this

study is the idea that their teaching, through demonstration,

may lack the additional support of verbalization due to a

lack of self-confidence in their ability to teach and com-


Self-confidence is a manifestation of self-concept

(Fitts et al., 1971). "Self theory holds that man's

behavior is always meaningful and that we could understand

each person's behavior if we could only perceive his

phenomenal world as he does" (p. 3). In the realm of

education, "the teaching and learning processes are cri-

tically dependent upon communication; yet, the teacher-

student relationship frequently ignores the most important

variable in communication--the feelings of the participants.

In the academic world, feelings are often unwelcome dis-

tractions to the communication of ideas, facts, and

theories" (p. 4).

Adding or detracting from an educator's self-concept is

the possibility that the teaching methods the educator is

required to use are alien to those the educator experienced

when he or she was a student. The health professions are

steeped in tradition, and lecture has been the traditional

method by which basic information has been transmitted.

Learning style, or the "mapping" of an individual preferred

method of learning, has been the subject of study by Wasser

(1971) and Hill (1968). It is postulated by Hill that

individuals learn differently and in order to better educate

the individual, an assessment of the learning style should

be made. Currently, mediated education, or that kind of

education that uses technological types of communication,

is being integrated within the curriculum of many institu-

tions of higher learning, reducing dependence upon the

lecture method of teaching and in some instances replacing

the lecture methods with self-paced, self-instructional

curricula which are implemented by means of television,

computers and interactions of a multimedia nature (Wittich

& Schuller, 1973). Mediated education is often seen as an

effort to spoonfeedd" the student as compared to the long

tedious acquisition of information associated with the

traditional method.

Academic institutions have long been noted for their

love of tradition while at the same time expressing their

interest in the unique and innovative. Academic institutions

also pose obstacles "to formulating and communicating favor-

able expressions of self which seems antithetic to their

voiced interest in innovation. Institutions are sustained

and vitalized by the allegiance, involvement, and energies

of the members" (Goffman, 1961, p. 4). Goffman refers to

institutions like boarding schools, military units, and uni-

versities as "total institutions" due to the degree of control

they exercise over the lives of their members. He further

states "such settings have a direct relationship to the kinds

of nonverbal displays an individual can use in communicating

an impression of self" (p. 4).

The development of an impression of self is drawn from

the self-concept and when one attempts to communicate a

uniqueness of self or an independence, the institution loses

control. Thus institutions promote "self-distantiation,"

alientation or disaffection from oneself (Burgoon & Saine,


In order to cope with institutional operations that seek

to manipulate and control, the individual can succumb or can

adopt an independent, rebellious, attitude, demonstrating

inner strength and belief in self. "Nonverbal behavior is

one of the few tools available for constructing this impres-

sion" of belief in one's self (Burgoon & Saine, 1978, p. 262).

These authors assert that sometimes such behaviors are

deceptive performances because the individual's self-concept

is low and the nonverbal behaviors that are meant to express

strength and individuality are exaggerated displays. Nonverbal

status displays that attempt to contradict the individual's

level of self-concept are subject to "leakage," a term

Ekman and Friesen define as a process by which our body

betrays our speech or other deceitful communications

(Ekman & Friesen, 1975, pp. 288-298).

So, the interrelation of self-concept, the presentation

of self, and nonverbal status displays that reflect the

status self-concept are intricately intertwined in Goffman's

theories of self-presentation and Ekman and Friesen's studies

of deception. An interesting aspect of the deception theory

is that the individual may well be totally unaware that

the major person being deceived is the self that is seeking

to deceive others through the use of status displays that

belie inabilities to cope with the system, teaching situa-

tions, and a concept of self.

Therefore, it is the object of this study to explore the

changing role of the educator in these technological times

where many students are more conversant, in a practical

sense, with educational technology than their teachers.

There is a need to study teacher reaction through observa-

tion of their nonverbal communication, and in particular

their status displays. Such observations should be made

not only by trained observers but also by students who are

subject to these nonverbal messages and who decode them

relative to their own perceptions, self-concept and preferred

learning style.


The following definitions are used in this study:

General Definitions

Nonverbal communication describes all human communi-

cation events which transcend spoken or written words

(Knapp, 1972).

Status is the relative rank of an individual or group

(American College Dictionary, 1963).

Self-concept is the perception of one's own self or

nature (American College Dictionary, 1963). Every individual

has "a self, which has many different shapes, forms, and

variations. We each have a private, or phenomenal self

(Snygg & Combs, 1949), a public self, and an ideal self"

(Fitts, 1970, p. 7). Fitts divides the self into "the

physical and social self"; it is the social or interpersonal

self that will be considered in this study.

Nonverbal Code Definitions

Nonverbal codes are channels by which nonverbal messages

are transmitted (Knapp, 1972). There are varieties of codes;

the ones selected for use in this study are as follows:

Artifacts consist of personal appearance--apparel, hair

style, etc.

Chronemics is time--waiting time.

Environment is the physical arrangement of a setting in

which an interaction takes place--temperature, color, etc.

Haptics is touch-physical contact--location of the

touch, pressure, temperature.

Kinesics consist of body communication that involves

neuromuscular movement, e.g., dilation of eyes or eye con-

tact, leg movements, posture, facial, arm or torso move-


Proxemics refers to spatial relationships that exist

between people, e.g., the spatial arrangement between people

involved in an interaction.

Vocalics refers to voice--tone, the rapidity of speech,

inflection, accent and other paralinguistic features.

Status Display Definitions and Nonverbal Codes

Nonverbal status displays are those behaviors that are

expressed nonverbally through the nonverbal codes that imply

or demonstrate status, the acquisition of status, the

maintaining of status.

Nonverbal status displays exemplified and operationa-

lized by means of the previously stated codes are as follows:

Artifacts are uniforms, pins or jewelry denoting

"belonging" to some exclusive group, glasses, breast pocket

paraphernalia, hair styles, clothing (Morris, 1971). The

wearing of glasses, conservative clothing, subdued colors

all contribute to a nonverbal message indicating individual

status (Knapp, 1972).

Chronemics is the length of time someone is kept waiting.

Environment involves arrangement of objects in space,

including desks or furniture, located as barriers between

people. It includes physical structures that impede human

interaction and a general atmosphere that might cause people

to have to seek out the person of status.

Haptics involves touching in a benign, patronizing

manner as if from parent to child, i.e., patting on head

or shoulder (Morris, 1971).

Kinesics is exemplified by the pursuing of lips,

tightening lips, eyebrow raises, looking down one's nose,

lack of eye contact, pointing and shaking of finger, finger

steepling, and posture-affectation of status (Morris, 1971).

Proxemics involves the increasing of space between

self and another, standing above another person requiring

him to look up (Hall, 1959).

Vocalics is a low, modulated voice that does not inflect

and indicates that status has been attained. A loud author-

itarian voice indicates a need to be noticed and therefore

is a demand to be given status (Merabian & Williams, 1967).

Nonverbal Communication

Communication is a major component of education. In

the classroom, verbal or oral communication, written com-

munication, group dynamics and nonverbal communication are

experienced. The many facets of communication can be cate-

gorized as either verbal or nonverbal (Knapp, 1972). Non-

verbal is the oldest mode of communication and the most

revealing with regard to individual reactions and emotions

(Lyons, 1972).

Socrates noted that attitudes such as nobility, dignity,

servility, understanding, and insolence are reflected in

the face and in the body (Socrates, 399 BC/1918). Charles

Darwin in his book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man

and Animals (1872/1965), stressed the continuity of form and

function of emotional expression, intimating an evolutionary

approach to communication and therefore a similarity of

communication between man and animals. Social animals like

chimpanzees and bees use forms of nonverbal communication to

communicate survival-based messages to their groups (Lorenz,

1966). Recent studies have been conducted by ethologists

and anthropologists to establish a direct relationship of

nonverbal message meaning between humans and animals (Tiger

& Fox, 1971).

Psychiatrists have been particularly interested in

nonverbal communication. Sigmund Freud felt that a patient's

physical actions were at least as important as his or her

verbal actions and Freud would seat himself at the head of

the couch in order to observe all movement by the patient

without disturbing the patient's thoughts (Freud, 1933/1953).

The nonverbal aspects of communication received little

notice from disciplines other than psychiatry and the

biological sciences until the eighteen nineties, when

William James, father of educational psychology, became

interested in classroom interactions. He felt the class-

room was a laboratory and that the teachers were scientists.

If they made observations and applied the principles of

psychology, they would be able to determine a great deal

about their students' behavior and with this knowledge

they could improve their teaching (James, 1914).

E. L. Thorndike (1932), a contemporary of James, agreed

with James' concepts but felt that studies in the classroom

were a waste of time, that behavioral studies should be done

in the laboratory. Thorndike approached nonverbal communica-

tion from a physiological standpoint, classifying nonverbal

communication as an autonomic response over which the

individual had little or no control. Thorndike, with his

concepts of stimulus and response, contributed much to the

behavioral approach to communications.

Ethologists then took up the task and began to study

nonverbal communication, comparing animal transmission of

messages with that of human communication. Niko Tinbergen

(1953) found communication or social behavior patterns in

animals similar to that of human social interactions. His

colleague, Lorenz (1950, 1966), furthered the interest in

such patterns of behavior, attributing some of the communi-

cation behavior to phylogenetic origins. Eibel-Eibesfeldt

(1972) delved deeply into the study of love and hate behavior

patterns as expressed by both man and animals. He also noted

aspects of status interactions and concluded "It is not the

especially aggressive animal that reaches the highest rungs

on the ladder of rank but one that knows how to win the

other's sympathies" (p. 86).

The 1950s were characterized by an increased interest

in nonverbal communication, even as Sputnik ushered in the

new communication era. Anthropological studies were initi-

ated to classify behaviors of a nonverbal nature. Linguistic

anthropologist, Birdwhistell (1952) began notational studies

relative to kinesics or body motion while another linguistic

anthropologist, Hall (1959), explored the nonverbal meaning

of spatial relationships between people. Hall (1983) asserts

that there is ". . a set of unspoken rules of behavior and

thought that controls everything we do." This he calls

"primary level culture" (p. 6). Hall's thesis supports

Darwin's belief that expressive behaviors like smiling or

laughing and crying were acquired because of the survival

value of the behaviors. This denotes primary level culture

(Darwin, 1872/1965). Hall further expounds that "words

represent perhaps 10 percent of the total communication

S. while behavior or nonverbal communication counts for

the other 90 percent" (Hall, 1983, p. 5).

Increasing numbers of studies demonstrate the ongoing

interest and growing awareness of the importance of non-

verbal communication as it functions within the total com-

munication process. Ekman et al. (1972) probed the ability

to recognize emotion and its relationship to dimensional

theories of emotion. Their interest expanded to include

cross cultural research in certain basic survival facial

nonverbal expressions (Ekman & Friesen, 1975). These

research endeavors and many like them provided the basis for

some of the more situation-specific research we see today,

such as "Nonverbal behavior and thought processing" (Marcos,

1979); "The Effects of Cigarette Smoking on the Perception

of Nonverbal Communications"(Hertz, 1978); and "Nonverbal

Behaviour and the Outcome of Selection Interviews" (Forbes

& Jackson, 1980). These and other recent studies will be

among those reviewed in Chapter Two.

Educational Research on Nonverbal Communication

Many studies have been conducted regarding nonverbal

communication in classroom interactions, e.g., "An

Exploratory Study of Observational Procedures for

Determining Teacher Nonverbal Communication" (Galloway,

1962); "The Uses of Nonverbal Behaviors: Toward an

Ecological Model of Classrooms (Doyle, 1977); "A Nonverbal

Communication Classification System for Teaching Behaviors"

(Morganstern, 1967).

Trained educators look to nonverbal communication

research as a key to better teaching on an individual level.

Present day educational research reflects this interest.

Examples of the breadth of research are shown in these cita-

tions of recent studies: "The Relationship Between Self and

Students' Perception of Affective Characteristics and

Selected Verbal and Nonverbal Behaviors of Seventh Grade

Physical Education Teachers" (Thomas, 1980); "Effects of

Training in Detection and Use of Nonverbal Behavior on

Counselor Effectiveness" (Norton, 1978); and "Verbal and

Nonverbal Behavior Patterns of Selected Elementary School

Teachers Judged Best and Not Judged Best by Their Previous

Students" (Re, 1978).

There have been many studies of nonverbal communication

conducted at the elementary and secondary school level. In

surveying educational research related to nonverbal communi-

cation at the college level and particularly at the pro-

fessional degree or advanced degree level, the present

author noted fewer studies involving nonverbal interaction.

Examples of studies conducted at various educational levels

will be explored in Chapter Two.

Nonverbal Communication Research in Health Professions

In the realm of medicine, dentistry and other medically

related disciplines, there is a paucity of research on

nonverbal interaction. Most nonverbal research studies in

the health field relate to professional and client inter-

action with the focus on the client's behavior, e.g.,

"Nonverbal communication and physician-patient rapport,

an empirical study" (Dimatteo, Friedman, & Taranta, 1980).

Medical and dental education are unique even among

health disciplines in that a large part of the curriculum

is centered around clinical experiences. Nursing, pharmacy,

and health-related professions have greatly increased the

clinical components of their curriculum but the classroom

experience still outweighs the clinical learning time.

When assessing the quality of communication in an

educational setting like a medical school or, as in this

study, a dental school, it is important to recognize that

the educators are not trained in pedagogy. They are

specialists in their fields and it is assumed that they

have only to communicate their skills in the area of their


Statistics are few regarding the numbers of dental or

medical faculty who have had courses in educational techni-

ques. However, the number is probably similar for both

professions. A recent study by Jason and Westberg (1982)

found that "the percentage of physicians who have taken

courses in education is 21 percent of the total population"

used in the study which numbered 2700. "Twenty-nine percent

[of those who have taken education courses] are at the

instructor level, nineteen percent are full, associate, and

assistant professors" (p. 73). Jason and Westberg found

that 15 percent of those who took an education course, took

education psychology and 16 percent took a course in teaching

methods. Seventy-two percent of the medical teachers in the

study reported they never turn to educational specialists for

guidance. "The majority of teachers in U.S. medical schools

do not read or even skim the key medical journals" (p. 81).

In teaching a discipline that is subject to as much

change as medicine, it is important to remain current in

order to communicate new findings to students. Thus, it

is apparent that, with physicians and possibly dental faculty,

there is little concern regarding formal training to be a

better educator and little incentive to be kept up to date

or trained. Some of this is not attributable to the value

system of the professional alone, but is due to the values

of the educational system of medicine in which they find

themselves. Many colleges and universities will not permit

their faculty to enroll in courses that lead to the

acquisition of additional degrees. Permission to take

individual courses is usually offered. However, with

medical and dental faculty, courses offered without the

reward of additional degrees might well be considered a

waste of valuable time, time that they are being pressured

to utilize in furthering research activities. Furthermore,

both medical and dental faculty, especially in state

institutions, are pressured to supplement their academic

salaries and are encouraged to practice and maintain a

clientele of their own.

Nonverbal Research in Dental Education

A recent study at the College of Dentistry, University

of Florida, demonstrated that there are certain behavioral

contingencies that take place in a clinical learning center

(MacKenzie et al., 1979). These behaviors produce

"unintended effects" which may affect the quality of educa-

tion." "Every behavior has an effect" (p. 579). Behavior,

in the terms of MacKenzie et al. is classifiable by con-

tingencies, the contingencies being cues, responses, and

consequences (MacKenzie, personal communication, 1984). "A

contingency is the relationship of a behavior (act, activity,

response) to its effect (reinforcing, punishing, extinguishing)"

(p. 578). Some of these behaviors are nonverbal.

Interviews conducted by MacKenzie et al., with both

professors and students, revealed a number of issues such as

inconsistency of behavior and lack of positive feedback but

the interviews also revealed that certain nonverbal behaviors

had a disturbing effect in the clinical learning setting.

Their study further revealed that these nonverbal behaviors

were demonstrated by both students and educators. One of

the researchers estimated that negative interactions in the

clinical setting between educators and students could account

for almost 30 percent of the inequities in the quality of

education (MacKenzie, personal communication, 1983).

Negative reactions of students toward educator nonverbal

displays were reported in this University of Florida, College

of Dentistry study: "Faculty make facial expressions showing

how displeased they are; followed by pointing out what needs

to be done in a not too enthusiastic tone. 'Faculty have a

cold disdainful manner, and are not concerned about student

progress.' 'Instructors sometimes act annoyed to be asked'"

(MacKenzie et al., 1979, p. 580). The uses of facial expres-

sions to denote disapproval, tone of voice or a removed

manner, are nonverbal indicators that the recipient is not

measuring up to the teacher and thus the status and the

power of the teacher are accentuated (Argyle, 1975).

Concepts Relative to Status

Whether the learning setting be clinical or classroom,

the teacher is automatically ascribed a higher status than

students for the commonly accepted reasons of age, amount of

knowledge, maturity, academic degrees, and because of the

power to pass or fail a student. Regardless of whether the

status is ascribed by means of prestige or ranking, status

seems to always incorporate a social power component (Mach,


The concept of status is usually discussed in concert

with power and dominance. These three form a triptych of

authority. The greater the status, the greater the avail-

able power of dominance. By dictionary definition, status

refers to the relative rank of an individual; power refers

to possession of control, authority or command over others;

while dominance is defined as commanding, controlling, or

prevailing over all others (American College Dictionary,


It is status, with its accompanying power and dominance,

that gives the teacher authority but in so doing, it also

widens the psychological and usually the physical gap

between teacher and student. It is a thin line that the

teacher walks in trying to maintain status of self, while

simultaneously recognizing the rights and status of the



Power by itself is the legitimate or illegitimate

ability to control or dominate others (Bales, 1970). Con-

sidered this way, power might be seen as being a part of

the whole that is status. By comparison, power has less of

a class connotation attached to it than does status. Yet,

in the classroom, the teacher has status, with the ability

to wield power. In observing teacher status, according to

Bales (1970), the question is whether power is being

exerted in reinforcement of, or in opposition to, a normal

and conventional status.


Group dominance patterns affect the power component

within a group. In comparison with social power, dominance,

which is normally linked to status and power, holds less

interest as a component of status. "Power" is used more

today in comparative studies of human and animal behavior.

There is an implication of animal control in dominance.

Dominance may well represent status if we could strip status

of its socio-economic trappings (Mach, 1972). In discussing

power versus status, we are dealing with power which mani-

fests obvious displays, as contrasted with the hidden mean-

ings and behavioral subtleties of status. Yet, in observing

group interactions it is hard to ignore dominance patterns

that fluctuate continuously throughout the interaction.

Fluctuating dominance patterns can cause power shifts.

However, the individual who can wield the most power,

relative to rewards, usually wins any power competition

(Kelley, 1951).

Status relative in this study will be considered a

composite of ranking, power, and dominance, given the fact

that educators enjoy rank, the power to pass or fail, and

in some instances physical dominance of the learning set-

ting. Also, it should be stated that, although student

status plays an important part in learning interactions,

this particular study is not designed to study student

nonverbal status displays. It is noteworthy that students'

actions reflect their own status. Students react to status

displays exhibited by professors relative to their own

status and such reactions can often trigger chain reactions

which contribute to the positive or negative atmosphere of

the learning setting. Thus, the interaction of status dis-

plays between professors and students can have a bearing on

the quality and type of communication that exists in a

classroom (Doyle, 1977).


In order to reduce negative interactions between students

and educators, there needs to be, for both groups, an increase

in self-awareness and self-esteem. Self and self-concept

have been areas of interest since the days of William James

(1914). Disciplines underlying the humanities, education,

and health professions have increasingly come to view the

self-concept as a basic central construct necessary for

people to understand themselves and others. A whole theore-

tical school known as "self theory" has developed through

the efforts of Rogers (1951), Wiley (1974), and others. The

concept of self-esteem, which is often used synonymously

with self-concept in the literature, was given a great deal

of exposure in Maslow's works (1959) involving self-


To obtain a view of oneself is to take the first step

toward remediating some of the negative perceptions of self,

thereby reducing insecurities that promote fear, threats

and other behaviors that emanate from a poor self-concept

or from egotism, and exaggerated sense of self-importance

(Fitts et al., 1971).

"High intention cannot coexist with a low self-image,"

and "When the ego is no longer running the show, we make

fewer value judgments about the status of the job at hand"

(Ferguson, 1980, p. 352, p. 345). In addition, "A person's

environment is constantly shifting, but the self is rela-

tively fixed and stable. Thus, the self-concept is a

powerful influence in behavior" (Fitts et al., 1971).

It has been stated "to the degree that a person's self-

concept is 'realistic,' he is said to have 'insight' into

himself" (Wiley, 1974, p. 5). These insights into self are

then translated into behaviors that are nonverbal and may

not be present in the consciousness (Rogers, 1951).

Cognitive Style

The concept of "style" in learning is comparatively

newly derived from multiple sources, one being Allport (1937)

who suggested the concept of "style" and defined it as the

consistency and pattern of expressive behaviors. In

ensuing years, this concept has been studied basically in

the context of personality and social variables (Broverman,

1960; Gardiner, 1953).

Style, related to cognitive processes, gradually found

its way into educational research upon the learning process

(Kagan et al., 1963). In the development of educational

sciences (Wasser, 1971), one of the constructs of the

sciences was determined as cognitive style. The educational

sciences focused upon learning itself as a science consisting

of seven constructs, which were to be scientifically

researched and measured. According to Hill, "The educational

sciences provide a conceptual framework and scientific

language for the applied field of knowledge called education.

These 'sciences' approach a level of precision that is found

in such other derivative fields as medicine, pharmacy,

engineering, and law" (Hill, 1968, p. 2).

Hill, former president of Oakland Community College,

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, states "an individual's cognitive

style is determined by the way he takes note of his total

surroundings--how he seeks meaning, how he becomes informed"

(Hill, 1968, p. 3). One needs to know if a learner is a

reader or a listener; if decisions are made due to self-

viewpoint or by family and associates; and if the learner

reasons like a mathematician, a social scientist or an

automotive mechanic.

Hill, in developing a cognitive style mapping test,

attempted to answer these needs by utilizing categories

which reflect a metatheory of facets as propounded by

Guttman (1954-55). Hill employed a modification of

Guttman's theory that evolved into the current concept of

cognitive style which is defined as the Cartesian product

of four sets:1. symbols and their meanings, 2. cultural

determinants, 3. modalities of inference, and 4. memory-


A student's cognitive map presents the educator with

an understanding of the student's preferred learning style

and the manner in which the student searches for meaning.

"Mapping an individual's cognitive style enables the

educator to consider the individual in terms that without

the map he might not have employed. Through this approach

it is possible to prescribe educational activities that

provide a better probability of successful accomplishment

by the individual than otherwise might be possible" (Hill,

1968, p. 9). This concept is basic to trends in persona-

lized, self-paced, self-instructional education.

Research Design

It is the purpose of this study to employ preferred

learning style and self-concept as variables in an effort

to assess their relationship, if any, to the numbers of

nonverbal status displays demonstrated in a teaching

setting and observed by students and experts.

Given that every educator is ascribed status in the

teaching setting, the degree to which an educator's views

are compatible with the teaching environment and methodology

may be reflected in the numbers of status displays observed

by students and correlated with level of self-concept and

preferred learning style. Frequent use of status displays

may interfere in the communication process. However, it is

necessary first to ascertain that the nonverbal status dis-

play is observable and able to be quantified.

The population of this study is comprised of educators

and students and an expert team of seven individuals.

Twelve educators, convenience-selected by the Department

of Dental Education, comprise the educator population.

Convenience selection is used in that the only educational

staff people available are those teaching in the summer

semester. Also, there is a need to select from a group that

has historically proven to be willing to participate in

studies. Besides, there is the need to have a given number

of educators (three) represented in each of the four ranking

categories: full professor, associate professor, assistant

professor, and instructor.

Fifty dental students, convenience-selected from classes

representing all levels of the dental curriculum excepting

those first year students who have not been exposed to

clinical teaching, comprise the student population. Again,

these students were convenience-selected as opposed to

randomly selected because the populace was limited to those

students attending the summer semester of school. Thus it

was impossible to conduct a random selection where all dental

students would have had equal opportunity to be selected for

the study.

Five experts, trained in nonverbal communication, also

convenience-selected, comprise the expert populace.

The educators were given the Tennessee Self-Concept

Test and a cognitive style mapping test followed by video

taping each educator in interaction with students in a

clinical or laboratory setting. An edited tape was then

shown to the students and they noted their observations of

nonverbal status displays in the seven categories of non-

verbal codes. They also completed the Tennessee Self-Concept

Test. Cognitive style mapping scores for students were

already available since all students are tested upon entry

into the college. The team of nonverbal experts were then

shown the video tapes in the same manner as the students.

However, the expert team was not given the Tennessee Self-

Concept Test or the cognitive style mapping test. The

design of the study then called for a descriptive analysis

to be made relative to the variances between student and

expert observations, and student observations of educators,

relative to self-concept scores and cognitive mapping

scores of both students and educators.


A descriptive analysis formed the core of this study.

The dependent variable was nonverbal status displays with

self-concept and cognitive style as independent variables.

Each of the 12 educators was given a letter indicating

that this research project was involved generally with

aspects of teaching style and environment. More detailed

information regarding the research was not to be made avail-

able until the completion of the project due to the possi-

bility of confounding the data. Each educators was then

asked to sign a statement of participation.

Upon receipt of the signed affidavit, each educator was

given a Tennessee Self-Concept Test to complete and upon

completion of this test was then given a cognitive style

mapping test to complete. Some of the educators did not

have to take the cognitive style mapping test because they

had been required to take one upon entry into their position

in the college. However, six of the 12 educators had not

taken the test and completed it for this study.

Each educator was then video taped in the clinical or

laboratory setting. Time allotted for video taping each

educator was one hour. Only student interactions or

occurring faculty interactions were video taped. The numbers

of interactions varied with the type of clinic, day, and

time. The tape was then edited into three-minute segments

of each educator by a prescribed methodology to prevent bias

selection of behavior. This is described in Chapter III.

With the collection of the data, analyses were then

begun relative to the hypotheses of the study.


1. There will be significant differences between the

mean number of nonverbal status displays reported by

student and expert observers.

2. The number of nonverbal status displays reported

by a student will be significantly correlated with the

student's Tennessee Self-Concept Test scores.

3. The number of nonverbal status displays reported

by students for each professor will be significantly cor-

related with the professor's Tennessee Self-Concept Test


4. In a comparison of student and educator cognitive

style mapping scores, student scores will be matched with

educator scores and those students whose matched score is

similar to that of each educator will vary significantly in

the number of observed nonverbal status displays from those

students whose matched cognitive style mapping scores are

more disparate from those of each educator.

5. In comparing the observed number of nonverbal status

displays between educator categories, there will be a signi-

ficant difference in the frequency of observed displays

between higher professional rankings and lower professional


6. The nonverbal status displays observed most fre-

quently will vary significantly between higher professional

rankings and lower professional rankings.


The analyses for Hypothesis 1 which investigated the

differencess, if any, between expert- and student-reported

nonverbal status displays were by means of a two-factor

analysis of variance. Group was one factor and rank the

other factor.

Pearson's product moment correlation was employed to

ascertain any correlation between student-observed non-

verbal status displays and the students' self-concept scores

for Hypothesis 2.

In correlating the number of nonverbal status displays

reported by students for each professor with the professor's

Tennessee Self-Concept Scores under Hypothesis 3, a repeated

measures regression analysis was used.

For Hypothesis 4 the comparison between student's and

educator's preferred learning styles was achieved by obtain-

ing the degree of match between each student's score and

each professor's score on the cognitive style mapping test.

Then a Pearson product moment correlation was employed to

ascertain if there is any correlation between the degree of

match and the number of nonverbal status displays reported

by the students.

Analysis for Hypothesis 5 involved the use of the same

two-factor analysis of variance employed in analyzing

Hypothesis 1, using the factors of group and rank to ascertain

any difference between the use of nonverbal status displays

between higher professional ranks and lower professional


To determine the nonverbal status displays observed most

frequently between the four professional ranks under Hypo-

thesis 6, a multivariate analysis of variance was employed.


This study is comprised of two well-defined groups,

educators and students. The educators were convenience-

selected from a small population of educators who were

teaching during a summer semester. The students were

convenience-selected from another relatively small popula-

tion of students taking clinical or laboratory practicums.

The fact that the college from which these students and

educators were selected is not representative of other dental

colleges also reflects that the participants in the study

are not representative of other dental academic communities.

However, they may well represent the educational populace of

the future when technological education is employed on a

wider basis throughout the entire educational system.

The educators in this study are not necessarily trained

teachers but trained specialists; however, in this era of

specialization, they may be representative of the greater

numbers of faculty members in higher education.

The value of this study may lie in the fact that all

teachers, trained or untrained, are confronted with insecuri-

ties that may be reflected in their self-concept and non-

verbal status displays. If an inordinate number of status

displays are used and impede communication, then this study

might be generalizable to other academic environments. The

findings in this study should be more readily generalizable

to other medically related disciplines such as medicine

where clinical practicums constitute a large part of the

educational process.


The development of a limited behavioral observation chart

impedes the in-depth testing of participants relative to

their innate sensitivities to nonverbal communication. Time

limit and one-time exposure to the material also limit some

of the reaction responses. This, combined with the small

sample of educators, limits the overall amount of data in the

study. The group of educators is homogeneous; variations

within the group will more than likely exist but may not be

of significance.

Nonverbal studies are today done more frequently in

concert with verbal interactions to better simulate normal

communication circumstances, but since the focus of this

study was on nonverbal status displays, it was felt that

inclusion of verbal components would cause confusion.

Nonverbal communication, in its larger, composite sense,

is difficult to quantify; yet, the interpretation of this

study is quantitative, but to a limited degree. The study

will be able to quantify the number of nonverbal status

displays observed and categorically denote some degree of

observational prowess. The study will also be able to

quantify similarities of responses and correlate the finding

relative to the covariants. However, the study will not be

able to truly measure the conscious awareness of students of

the nonverbal behaviors of educators. It will not be able

to measure the intensity of response or all of the nonverbal

subtleties of nonverbal status as displayed by the educators.

To measure meaning is still a difficult task even though

technical capabilities to quantify have improved immensely.

Organization of Dissertation

The subsequent four chapters of this dissertation address

the literature that pertains to this study, the design of

this study, the reported statistical and descriptive

analyses and finally the implications of the results of the


Chapter Two examines the literature that represents

studies, the nature of which may have some bearing on this

study, or bear some resemblance to the efforts intrinsic

to this research. Chapter Three consists of descriptions of

the participants, the method of selection, a discussion of

the methodology, validity and reliability, and the method

of analysis. Chapter Four reports the data acquired, the

descriptive and quantitative analyses and interpretation.

Chapter Five synthesizes the information, generalizing it

to any appropriate populations and in general reviewing

the implications of the study relative to the specific

community for which it was devised. It also addresses some

aspects of a prescriptive program and further investigations.


Nonverbal communication has captured the minds of

researchers in many different disciplines and the amount

of research reported in the area of nonverbal communication

since its upsurge in the 1950s is voluminous. However,

trends in research began to change toward the 1970s when

more scholarly and more definitive methodology began to be

employed in studying the various aspects of nonverbal com-

munication. Furthermore, research began to coalesce under

the concept that nonverbal codes studied and interpreted

in isolation did not represent the manner in which nonverbal

communication was read in the practice of everyday communi-

cations. Researchers began to combine and integrate studies

of nonverbal codes and studies of nonverbal and verbal

interactions. There was a maturational trend in approaching

research in these areas evidenced by studies that incorpor-

ated more in-depth approaches to the nonverbal codes, more

integrated verbal and nonverbal research, and more sophis-

ticated methods of quantifying research (Burgoon, 1980).

Knowledge of the organization of the information con-

tained in this chapter may facilitate reading. There are

three major areas: nonverbal communication research, status

and nonverbal communication research, and a summary of the

research. In the first part, nonverbal communication research

is an overview of nonverbal communication relative to the

types of research being conducted and examples of each.

This is followed by research in nonverbal communication as

conducted in education, nonverbal communication and the

health-related disciplines, and dental research in non-

verbal communication, and examples of each.

Overview of Nonverbal Communication Research

Burgoon defined the four major areas of investigation

in nonverbal communication in the seventies as intent,

awareness, shared meaning, and genre of units qualified as

meaningful (Burgoon, 1980).

With regard to intent there are three perspectives:

the source of the communication, the receiver, and the

message orientation. These three viewpoints reflect

differently on the question of whether nonverbal acts must

be intentionally committed by the source and perceived as

intentionally committed by the receiver. From the stand-

point of the communicator, only those acts that are intended

to communicate are valid, while from the receiver's stand-

point, only those messages to which the receiver ascribes

meaning are valid. The third point of view deals with

defining the message orientation and with the distinction

between nonverbal behavior and nonverbal communication,

"the latter being only those behaviors that are publicly

encoded" and these behaviors are ascribed to have "socially

shared meaning" (Burgoon, 1980, p. 179).

When the focus is shifted to message orientation, it

reduces the infiltration of idiosyncratic behaviors that

are not considered commonalities in communication activities.

But then arises the question as to awareness of the intent

to communicate. Does the source or the receiver have to be

aware of the intent to communicate? Message orientation

sidesteps the issue to some degree by relating value to the

message as determined by the culture rather than the immedi-

ate parties involved.

Of course, measuring intent or conscious awareness is

difficult, to say the least, but when one also considers

the possibility of unconscious awareness, it becomes a

virtual impossibility. Yet any acceptance of Freudian

psychology necessitates that unconscious awareness be a

consideration in researching nonverbal communication. The

concept of unconscious awareness applied to the construct

of shared meaning is reflected in some of the current

research now taking place at Stanford Research Center on

extrasensory perception, which is another form of nonverbal

communication (Targ & Puthoff, 1977).

Shared meaning is another interpretive aspect that

affects research efforts in nonverbal communication. The

breadth of the definition embraced by the researcher affects

the measurement of meaning. If shared meaning is restricted

to those meanings attributed as components of a purposeful

exchange between sender and receiver, then the definition is

narrowed and measurement enhanced (Harrison, 1974, pp. 23-33).

But with reductionism comes isolationism which is the price

that is often paid to define measurable yet meaningful units.

Burgoon (1980) refers to "meaningful units" and states

that this "concerns whether nonverbal 'codes' should be

limited to symbolic acts . i.e., units may be linguistic

or nonlinguistic in character . ." (p. 180). Knapp (1972),

mentioned by Burgoon, limits the nonverbal codes much as is

described in the present study. Burgoon, referring to

Harrison (1974) and Leathers (1976),says that they include

"such units as olfaction, skin sensitivity to touch, plastic

surgery, the media, imagination, creativity, and animal and

insect communication within the nonverbal domain" (p. 180).

Running like some antediluvian current throughout all

these issues is the eternal research question, nature or

nurture? Does otogeny recapitulate phylogeny relative to

communication and especially nonverbal communication? How

much of our nonverbal skills are innate vs. learned?

(Tiger & Fox, 1971). Like Lenneberg and Chomsky, who used

comparative methods to determine universal rules of grammar,

so, Tiger and Fox seek a biogrammar linking man to his

biological and genetic past in the development of behavioral

communication. Although Tiger and Fox are linguistic

anthropologists, they combine their linguistic background

with an ethological approach to research in the area of


There have been many different discipline-related

approaches to communication research in the past decade

(Budd & Reubin, 1972). Burgoon and Saine (1978) have

identified at least 10 different approaches based on different

fields of endeavor ranging from anthropological to zoologi-


A recent study (Marcos, 1979) was based on the psycho-

logical approach to "Nonverbal Behavior and Thought

Processing." In his study, Marcos referred to relationships,

confirmed by Efron (1941), between nonverbal behavior and

culturally patterned content aspects of speech. Marcos'

study "addressed itself to the identification of nonverbal

activity, specifically hand movements, with no message

content value but with a function in the processing of

verbal encoding" (Marcos, 1979, p. 940). The background

of the study involved observations of Spanish-speaking

schizophrenic patients who, when interviewed in English,

displayed a marked increase in the use of nonverbal hand

motions, which indicated that the patient was using the

motions more to facilitate thought processing or verbal

encoding rather than for psychopathological reasons. The

study, carried out with bilingual subjects, but ones with

a definite language deficit, subjected them to a discussion

of high- and low-imagery topics in both languages. A

significant difference was proven to exist between the

amount of movement produced in the dominant language and

the nondominant one. The results of this study support

the idea that nonverbal behavior has a function in the

central processing of information and warns that clinicians

evaluating subordinate bilingual patients with a language

deficiency should be careful to distinguish nonverbal

movements that are representational from those that reflect

verbalization motor behaviors with expressive or inter-

personal meaning (Marcos, 1979).

Another interesting study, this one on the social-

psychological aspects of nonverbal communication, looks at

"The effects of cigarette smoking on the perception of

nonverbal communications" (Hertz, 1978). The basis for

this research is that smoking increases heart rate and by

so doing affects the perceptions of the individual. Hertz

hypothesized that cigarette smoking would result in a

decreased sensitivity in observing nonverbal cues in still

pictures of the human face; a decrease in sensitivity to

content-free speech; and a reduction in stress by increas-

ing accuracy of perception resulting in a decrease in

smoking rate.

Hertz found that increases in heart rate due to

cigarette smoking led to a decrease in accuracy of per-

ception of visually presented nonverbal cues, still or

moving. He found that smokers in the smoking and no-

smoking conditions did not differ significantly in their

accuracy of perception of content-free speech. Relative

to reducing stress and thereby decreasing the smoking

rate which is aided by increasing the accuracy of percep-

tion, the researcher found a suggestion of the possibility

that "smoking decreases the sensitivity to all stimuli,

both positive and negative. The findings suggest that

the smoker is an individual who is generally cautious and

who prefers experiencing events in the environment on a

generally subdued level in order to assure that there is

always a cushion of protection from either unexpected or

anticipated threat" (Hertz, 1978, p. 81).

In yet another vein there is the study dealing with

nonverbal behaviors and the outcome of selection interview,

by Forbes and Jackson (1980). Their study quotes research

by Kennan and Wedderburn (1975) who found "interviewer's

communication style (operationalized in terms of head nods,

smiling,and eye contact) affects both the perception of the

interviewer and the performance of the candidate" (p. 404).

However, Forbes and Jackson too note that the Kennan-

Wedderburn study, like many others, was conducted by

"constructed video recordings" and their findings were

based on judgments made by observers. The Forbes-Jackson

study was based, therefore, on "real-life" interviews,

with the purpose of relating the "non-verbal behavior" of

candidates in selection interviews to the decisions made

in those interviews. They expected more "head nodding,

smiling, direct eye contact, and leaning forward behavior

in the 'accept' interviews, and more frowning and gaze

avoidance in the 'reject' interviews" (Forbes & Jackson,

1980, p. 407).

In their study they charted the behavior in 101

interviews of job candidates. The interviewers were four

specialists in engineering who were screening applicants

for positions as trainee technical apprentices.

The researchers noted that direct eye contact occurs

more frequently in the "accept" interviews, gaze avoidance

in "reject" interviews, and shaking or nodding of the head

occurs much more frequently in the "accept" interviews than

the "reject" interviews. They also concluded that "inter-

viewers tend to make their selection decisions soon after

the start of the interview, then they may give positive

reinforcement to those candidates whom they have decided to

accept and negative reinforcement to those whom they have

decided to reject" (Forbes & Jackson, 1980, p. 410).

Just as Burgoon defined the major issues of investi-

gation in the seventies, so the past decade has seen

research development in three distinctive discipline-related

categories: communication systems, biological-neurophysio-

logical, and social-psychological. Although there are

categorical differences, there have been similarities in

the thrust of research in each of these three groups.

The endeavors can be categorized in five areas of research:

1. variable-analytic, 2. structural research on encoder,

message, and decoder, 3. research relative to functional

aspects of nonverbal communication, 4. research based on

context, and 5. development of nonverbal skills.

Research and Nonverbal Communication in Education

In surveying nonverbal communication research in educa-

tion it is possible to classify studies into six categories

of content, namely those which 1. involve student and

teacher interactions, 2. address teacher nonverbal behavior

or student nonverbal behavior, 3. relate to methods of

observing or evaluating teacher or student nonverbal behavior

or communication, 4. deal with observation and/or quantifi-

cation of variables that affect nonverbal communication,

5. examine the affective realm of nonverbal communication,

and 6. consider the effect of nonverbal communication on

the general teaching environment.

Interactive Studies

Efforts to evaluate teacher-student interactions have

become more prevalent, but due to the difficulty in separa-

ting out the variables, and the problem of measuring such

amorphic aspects of interactions as the teacher's warmth

(Della & Gage, 1955) these studies have proven to be contra-

dictory. The lack of consistency has been attributed to

researchers investigating concepts that need to be better

refined and defined before further investigation takes place,

and to researchers oversimplifying the relationship or

interaction between student and teacher (Nussbaum & Scott,


With this in mind, these workers designed a study to

assess the relationship between student learning and varying

levels of teacher-student solidarity, as well as the rela-

tionship between varying levels of solidarity and a teacher's

communication style. They measured student-teacher solidarity

with 323 university students and 10 graduate assistant in-

structors ranging from 22 to 25 years of age. The measure-

ment was effected by means of a Likert-type instrument

developed by Wheeless (1975) to measure impersonal solidarity.

The instrument was modified by Nussbaum (1983) to measure

student/teacher solidarity. To measure the communicator

style, they used a 51-item scale which computed variations

of style such as friendly, dramatic, animated, contentious,

impression-leaving, attentive, open, relaxed, etc. Affec-

tive and behavioral learning were measured by employing

eight seven-point evaluative semantic differential scales

and four seven-point differential scales respectively

(Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1957). To measure the cog-

nitive learning parameters of the study, the scores on the

second of three examinations were used as measures of

cognitive learning.

Nussbaum and Scott (1980) reported findings that "point

to the significance of a moderately close relationship

existing between a student and his teacher" (p. 561). They

also report, that teachers rated as enjoying a high level

of solidarity with their students differ from those with a

low level of solidarity across the four variables of open,

friendly, impression-leaving, and dramatic. They emphasize

the idea that the relationship between an instructor's com-

municative behavior and student learning may be mediated by

student-teacher solidarity.

Nussbaum and Scott's study calls attention to the areas

of ineffectiveness or inappropriateness of other studies.

The question needs to be raised as to whether this study is

realistically conducted when it makes use of graduate student

assistants as instructors with a populace of students whose

age would vary from the instructors as little as from five

to seven years. Contrasting this with a more normal situa-

tion where the teacher would exhibit greater differences in

both age and experience presents some question as to the

generalizability of the study. The psychological distancing,

as mentioned in the study, might well be congruent with the

lack of distancing or difference between age and experience.

Daly and Korinek (1980) reviewed studies of classroom

interaction and found that "a large number of studies

indicate that the nature of teacher and student communica-

tion affects both the quality and quantity of what is learned

in the classroom" (p. 516). They state, "For most children

the majority of their 'communicative lives' is spent in the

classroom. The classroom represents a setting where the

nature, functions, and outcomes of communication can be clearly

observed with only limited artificiality" (p. 516).

Daly and Korinek describe many studies which demon-

strate the importance of classroom interaction. They state

"student self-esteem and intellectual responsibility are

positively related to classroom academic talk while social

desirability tendencies and social-communicative anxiety

are inversely related" (p. 521).

They conclude that research on teacher characteristics

suggests "(1) More experienced teachers are more control-

oriented, offering greater criticism of students, more humor

and permitting more student-initiated talk (Hoy, 1967, 1969;

Moskowitz & Hayman, 1974). (2) The sex of both teacher and

student affects interaction. .. .Female instructors praise

students more and criticize them less than do male instruc-

tors" (p. 521). The research suggests that male instructors

are also likely to praise and criticize male students more

than female students (Daly & Korinek, 1980, p. 521; Good,

Sikes & Brophy, 1973; Karp & Yoels, 1976).

Probably the most outstanding aspect of this overview by

Daly and Korinek is that, in dealing with research relative

to classroom interaction, they did not cite a single instance

where nonverbal communication was an integral part of the

interaction research. The focus of the studies cited was on

the verbal discourse that takes place in classroom interactions.

Since nonverbal communication takes place in most interactions

and is particularly observable in the classroom, it would seem

that there might be a flaw in the structure of some of the

research done on interaction in the classroom.

Nonverbal Behavior Studies

Nonverbal studies normally fall into two classifications,

those that focus on the nonverbal to the exclusion of the

verbal and those that study the nonverbal in conjunction with

the verbal. It would seem that the latter type of study

would give the more realistic evaluation of classroom inter-

action because it includes both categories of communication.

However, sometimes, due to the complexity of the components

of both verbal and nonverbal communications, there are diffi-

culties in interrelating and correlating verbal and nonverbal.

On the other hand, those studies conducted with the exclusion

of verbal communication may be flawed in not presenting the

whole communication picture. Similarly, there are some non-

verbal studies that focus entirely on some variable or code

within the constructs of nonverbal. Many such studies were

conducted in the sixties and early seventies, but in recent

years, the need to integrate the nonverbal codes has been

demonstrated. The codes are usually read as a unit, either

supportive of each other or disparate. Thus, assessing the

nonverbal codes as a component of a specific nonverbal

message is more in keeping with the realistic use of non-

verbal in any given situation. Two studies exemplary of

research that focuses on the nonverbal aspects of educa-

tion are "Nonverbal behavior in teaching: another dimension

to classroom communication" (Credell, 1977), and "A descrip-

tive analysis of nonverbal behaviors of college teachers"

(Willett, 1977).

In Credell's study, both the perceptions of selected

teachers and students were utilized to ascertain the use

of positive or negative nonverbal behavior by twelve

teachers who were video taped in their normal teaching

setting. Ten nonverbal codes were designated: physical

appearance, facial expression, gestures, voice, proxemics,

body expression, use of time, expression of eyes, actions,

and expression of mouth.

Teacher observers were divided into two panels, A and

B. Panel A teachers had been designated by principals as

teachers whose communication practices were identified as

producing a positive effect and image with students,

colleagues, and parents. Panel B teachers consisted of

those identified by principals as using communication

practices that resulted in their not being liked or

respected by the majority of students, colleagues and parents.

When the two panels observed the video tapes and a comparison

was made on each of the 10 codes, there were no significant

differences; however, in comparing the overall ability to

perceive negative behaviors, there was a significant differ-

ence between Panel A and B. Members of Panel B apparently

lacked the skills with which to identify negative behaviors.

Students selected for this study were from a group known

to be having difficulty in school. Thus, the populace does

not represent the normal populace. But findings of this

study show that these students become confused when verbal

messages given by the teachers on the video tape were then

contradicted by their nonverbal behavior. The example given

in the study was that when a teacher said to a group of

students that she wanted to give them as much help as possible,

this was confounded by her behavior of eye contact avoidance

with those same students (Credall, 1977).

Willett's study (1977), although entitled "A descriptive

analysis of nonverbal behaviors," etc., does not exclusively

investigate nonverbal behaviors. Five out of nine hypo-

theses investigate the combination of verbal and nonverbal

behaviors in the classroom. Four of the hypotheses examine

nonverbal communication to the exclusion of verbal components.

Willett used observations made by students and an expert

group to assess teacher behavior. There was significant

agreement at the 0.05 level between experts' and students'

findings when they observed a teacher's encouraging or

restrictive nonverbal behavior. But observations did not

determine that teachers who use predominately encouraging

nonverbal behavior are any more effective than teachers who

use predominately restrictive nonverbal behavior as indicated

by results from a Fisher Exact Probably Test. One of the

hypotheses stated that female students would achieve a high

degree of agreement with experts relative to observing

teachers' encouraging and/or restrictive nonverbal behavior,

and this hypothesis was rejected. Willett's intent in this

study was to show that studying teacher behavior, especially

nonverbal behavior, is an entree to encouraging developmental

improvement in teaching styles or techniques. He cited many

studies, among them Elbe (1972), that support the idea that

college teachers have a good knowledge of their subject but

are not really prepared to teach.

Combined Verbal and Nonverbal Studies

Walsh (1977) conducted a study similar to Willett's,

the difference being that the title of Willett's study

implied that it dealt solely with nonverbal behaviors when

in reality it involved both verbal and nonverbal, while

Walsh's study clearly stated the research involved the

interaction of both verbal and nonverbal. Like Willett's,

Walsh's study was "intended to find whether there was a

significant degree of consistency between trained teacher

observers and students in determining the influence of a

teachers verbal and nonverbal communication in the teaching

process" (p. 1).

Walsh's study was developmental in its approach in that

he sought to create a program whereby teachers could learn

more about nonverbal methods and thereby increase their

effectiveness in the classroom. He cited a study by

Christiansen (1960) which explored the relationship between

achievement of fourth and fifth grade students, pupil

affect-need and perceived teacher warmth. The study revealed

that teachers perceived by students high on the dimension of

warmth had significantly higher student scores in arithmetic

and vocabulary measures. Such findings, according to Walsh,

imply that "a teacher's actions can affect both the cognitive

and the affective dimensions of learning" (Walsh, 1977, p. 15).

Walsh used the French-Galloway instrument to make his

observations. He concluded that effective teachers had to

use fewer dominance displays than average teachers, they were

more responsive to the student than average teachers and they

were less involved in being pleasant than average teachers.

Re (1978), in conducting her research for her doctoral

dissertation, took into consideration the ecological com-

munication environment one finds in the classroom. She

illustrated how quickly this environment is changing with

the addition of new technology: video, video disk, and

personal computers. Re directed her research toward the

area of nonverbal and verbal interactive behavior. Two

groups were observed: Group I, five elementary school

teachers who were judged best, and Group II, five elementary

school teachers who were not judged best. Five hundred high

school students completed a questionnaire which asked "Who

was your best elementary school teacher?" The five most

mentioned names were selected for Group I; the five names

mentioned only once or not at all comprised Group II.

Re observed each of the ten teachers in discussion

activities on five separate occasions for a minimum of 20

minutes each time. She used the French-Galloway adaptation

of the Flanders System for Interaction Analysis. Re hypo-

thesized that

teachers judged best would 1. behave more
indirectly. 2. talk less, 3. be more
indirect in their response to student talk,
4. be less direct in their response to
students, 5. be more indirect even after
eliminating questions and lecturing
behavior, 6. use more verbally and non-
verbally congruent behavior, 7. be more
concerned with positive pupil personal
development, 8. be more congruent,
9. spend more time in an effort to elicit
student talk, and 10. be more successful
at eliciting student response. (Re, 1978
p. 3)

Nine of her 10 hypotheses were supported. Her overall

results indicated "that teachers who were judged best by

their previous students established significantly different

verbal and nonverbal communication patterns from teachers

who were not judged best by their previous students"

(p. 157). Those teachers judged best (Group I), "verbally

and nonverbally encouraged students to participate

while teachers in Group II spent less time on these

activities." Re states "Teachers in Group II spent more

of their time verbally and nonverbally inhibiting student

participation and in this way dominated classroom acti-

vities" (Re, 1978, p. 157).

Re also notes that there was a difference in the teach-

ing patterns of teachers in Group I and Group II. Group I

teachers usually began a discussion by asking broad questions

which students might answer by expressing themselves in

"unanticipated" answers which served as a catalyst to initiate

further student participation. Group II teachers usually

began discussion by asking a narrow question with a

"predictable" answer. Students responded with the expected

answer. Then the teacher asked another narrow question and

then "the teacher praises and encourages the students and

moves on to another question" (Re, 1978, p. 158). Group I

teachers praised the students also but used nonverbal praise

more in isolation rather than in concert with verbal praise

as compared to the teachers in Group II who used less non-

verbal praise. Teachers in "Group I used about double the

nonverbal communication without verbal accompaniment than

did teachers in Group II" (p. 154). Students answering

teachers in Group I answered the broad questions with replies

that usually lasted longer than three seconds. Afterwards,

the students were praised and encouraged. Then the teacher

would often use the student contributions to act as a

catalyst to motivate additional student participation. While

narrower questions with predictable answers were asked by

teachers in Group II, they elicited responses like those of

Group I, lasting three seconds in length or longer. Similarly,

they praised and encouraged students and then went on to the

next question which often took more than three seconds to ask

even though the question was narrower in scope and more

clearly defined. Group II teachers however did not incorporate

student ideas and student initiated responses in their teaching


Some interactive studies involve not only the students

in the classroom or teaching setting, but external observers

also. Such a study is one that was executed by Clark (1977)

which compared participant and nonparticipant observations

of selected classroom interactions. Five ninth grade

teachers were video taped in their normal classroom settings.

Then, observations made by seven randomly selected students

of each teacher were compared to the observations by seven

doctoral students in education. The students had been

participants in the classroom interaction; the doctoral

students had not been participants. An instrument was

developed for data collection entitled Teacher Nonverbal

Behavior Rating Scale (TNBRS).

Clark's intentions were to 1. determine whether

observations of teacher nonverbal behavior differed when

perceived by participants and nonparticipants, and 2.

determine what nonverbal cues are identified by parti-

cipants and nonparticipants as indicators of the affective

quality of teacher nonverbal behavior.

It is difficult to determine why the design did not

also include a group of observers of the same age as the

participant observers (seventh graders) who had never been

exposed to the particular teachers involved in the study.

To compare the perceptions of teenage students who are

observing their own teachers with those of adult students

who are doctoral students with apparently no background in

nonverbal communication seems to place an abnormally wide

variance between the two groups without the mediation of

an unbiased, teenage group to represent an unbiased norm.

However, Clark did find a difference between the observa-

tions of the participants and nonparticipants at the 0.001

level and also found a significant difference between the

variances accounted for by participant and nonparticipant

ratings of nonverbal cues. Participants rated the first

five nonverbal cues as 1. facial expression, 2. hand

motion, 3. tone of voice, 4. illustrates at board, and

5. walks around. The nonparticipants rated the first five

nonverbal cues as 1. hand motion, 2. tone of voice,

3. walks around, 4. facial expression, and 5. stands over.

These variances might possibly be accounted for by the

development of more sophisticated perceptions in the non-

participants or by the difference between adult and child


Clark related in summary that it is important for

teachers to be made aware of the importance of nonverbal

communication and how and what they are transmitting to

students, both verbally and nonverbally. She also states

that nonparticipant observers should become more familiar

with how participants tend to perceive nonverbal communi-

cation acts. She suggests that one way to learn more

about participant perceptions of nonverbal behavior would

be to study participants' self-concept and the environment

in which learning takes place.

Affective Characteristics of Nonverbal Communication

Some researchers are beginning to examine affective

aspects of nonverbal communication. Affective education is

becoming more important than ever with the influx of high

technology into the learning scene. Miller (1971), in

introducing George Isaac Brown's book, Human Teaching for

Human Learning, discussed the need to return to our "central

educational tradition" but not using the out-dated methods

employed before Sputnik. "Instead, we must reinvent the

great tradition by renewing it. One of the primary ways for

such renewal is the concept of 'affective education,' that

is, the identification for specific educational concern of

the nonintellective side of learning: the side having to do

with emotions, feelings, interests, values, and character"

(Brown, 1971, p. XVI).

Brown's book introduces the concept of confluent

education which he defines "as the integration or flowing

together of the affective and cognitive elements in

individual and group learning--sometimes called humanistic

or psychological education" (p. 3). He further states,

"there is no society within our knowledge that is not in

dramatic need of emotional education" (p. 17).

Emotions and passions, whether concerned with human

interaction or the acquisition of knowledge, are expressed

by means of nonverbal behaviors. So in order to measure the

components of affective education, nonverbal behavior has

to be observed and quantified.

An example of a study which attempted to quantify affec-

tive nonverbal and verbal behaviors is that by Thomas (1980)

where measurements were made of teachers' perceptions of

their own affective characteristics as compared to students'

perceptions of teachers' affective characteristics.

The purpose of the Thomas study was to determine if

there was a significant difference between verbal and non-

verbal behaviors as exhibited by high-affect and low-affect

physical education teachers and between male and female

physical education teachers. The teachers were given a

list of adjectives and were asked to check those that applied

to them. Students of these teachers were given the same

list and asked to check off those adjectives that best

described the teacher. The five male and five female

teachers whose self-perception scores were more congruent

with the positive perceptions of the students' formed the

"high-affect" group while the five males and five females

whose self-perception scores were congruent with the low

scores of students' formed the "low-affect" group. In

addition, the Cheffers and Rogers Adaptation of Flanders

Interaction Analysis System was used to observe the teachers

in the study for the purpose of identifying verbal and non-

verbal behaviors. Thomas found a significant difference in

nonverbal and verbal behaviors at the 0.008 level between the

"high-affect" and "low-affect" groups. There was also a

significant difference between males and females in the

verbal category indicating that females provided more

verbal behavior than males.

The Cheffers and Rogers Adaptation of the Flanders

System (Cheffers, Amidon, & Rogers, 1974) attempts to

rectify the absence of nonverbal observations in the

original Flanders System. The Cheffers and Rogers System

identifies 53 nonverbal behaviors that supposedly parallel

the verbal behaviors that were identified in the Flanders

System. Out of the 53 nonverbal behaviors in the Cheffers

and Rogers, only six deal with vocalics, only three with

touch and only one with time. The remaining 43 behaviors

fall into the category of kinesics or body language. Such

important nonverbal codes as appearance or artifacts,

environment, and proxemics are not even taken into considera-


The affective realm is not easy to measure and yet it

is an area in much need of exploration. Smith-Hanen (1977)

reported a study designed to measure the effects of non-

verbal behaviors on judged levels of counselor warmth and

empathy. In this study she used experimental and control

groups of 20 subjects each. The subjects were to judge

video tapes of simulated nonverbal behaviors to ascertain,

on the Truax and Carkhuff (1967) five-level scale, the degree

of nonpossessive warmth and empathy demonstrated.

Smith-Hanen paraphrased Merabian and Ferris (1967) by

stating that studies indicate that nonverbal communication

accounts for one and one-half times as much variance in

message transfer as verbal messages. She emphasized that

there needs to be greater focus on nonverbal behaviors in

the training of counselors.

The Smith-Hanen study is exemplary of those studies

that examine one aspect of nonverbal communication. Although

the title of the study would imply that the study involves

all nonverbal behaviors, the singular focus of the study is

on kinesics, and even excludes some areas of kinesics. This

study pinpoints leg and arm behaviors as indicators of

warmth and empathy. The control group was shown video tapes

of behaviors that involved only head and neck movements,

while the experimental group was shown the same interaction

but was exposed only to leg and arm movements. The control

group judged the subjects generally colder than the experi-

mental group, which may bear out the belief that nonverbal

behaviors must be read in conjunction with each other and

as total messages. The study showed that certain arm

positions and leg positions do affect the judged levels

of counselor warmth and empathy. Smith-Hanen also stated

that "clients are aware of nonverbal behaviors of the

counselor and use these cues to judge the counselor's

warmth and empathy" (p. 91).

Measurement of Nonverbal Behaviors

Measurement of nonverbal behaviors is likened to mea-

suring the scent of a rose. There are many variables that

would cause the measurement and its value to vary with the

quantifier, the quantifier's nose, history of olfactory

experience, and even heredity factors. It is apparent that,

in evaluating behavior, the establishment of values has to

include affects of behavior or motivators of behavior that

are difficult to verbalize much less to quantify.

In his essay, The Science of Value, Robert S. Hartman

(1959) stated: "the science of value is to value as the

science of botany, for example, is to a rose: it does not

smell. . .The science of value is an intellectual, not

a valuational, enterprise. The value analyst does not value

but analyzes value . ." (p. 13). Hartman's essay is but

one of many in a book dedicated to the concept that man's

narrow focus of science has placed him in a state of value-

lessness and that something has to be done to recognize and

scientifically analyze values (Maslow, 1959).

When behavioral theorists developed the stimulus-

response concept and the little black box, a degree of

measurement could be achieved relative to the degree of

response or success. "That 'little black box' in psycho-

logical theorizing--the one we call 'meaning'--is held by

common consent to be the most elusive. Yet . is one

of the most important determinants of human behavior"

(Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1957, p. 10).

Nonverbal communication can be viewed by means of the

stimulus-response criterion; however, it is this author's

contention that much of its value is lost by not including

such variables and variations as time, background, envir-

onment etc. Thus, because of its complexity and its

susceptibility to non-objective analysis, nonverbal com-

munication has created problems for researchers seeking an

objective index by which to measure all the values of

nonverbal behavior.

One of the most frequently mentioned explorers in the

nonverbal realm of research in education is Charles Galloway.

His 1962 doctoral dissertation "An exploratory study of

observational procedures for determining teacher nonverbal

communication" has been cited in any number of studies,

including those mentioned in this chapter.

Galloway explored three methods of observing the non-

verbal communication of teachers. The first method required

trained observers to use specific categories for making

inferences regarding teacher communications. The second

method also utilized trained observers who narratively

described the nonverbal communication of teachers. Their

narrative observation records were given to judges for the

purpose of making some definitive statement as to the

teachers' communicative behavior. The third procedure

Galloway employed was to secure three experts to make global

assessments of the teacher-subjects on a continuum ranging

from encouraging to inhibiting communication.

The categorical and narrative aspects of Galloway's

index dealt on a continuum with such global activities as

1. enthusiastic support, 2. helping, 3. receptivity,

4. performance, 5. inattentive, 6. unresponsive, and

7. disapproval. Any of these behaviors would involve any

number of nonverbal codes and such nonverbal components

were not addressed in the study. Instead, the study was

more of an exploration of the effects of nonverbal communi-

cation. Those who judged the behaviors were experts in the

realm of education and communication but not in the area

of nonverbal communication, and they, too, were asked to

make definitive evaluations on the basis of a global con-

tinuum of encouraging to inhibiting behaviors.

But this at least was a beginning. Galloway himself

recognized a need for a more objective and refined instru-

ment. He cited an example: "in one instance a teacher

frowned at a pupil, but the pupil responded by smiling back

and by generally indicating that he understood. In such

instances making a decision about an appropriate category

was difficult" (p. 7).

If Galloway had known more about nonverbal cues, and

the observers had been experts in nonverbal communication,

they might have detected the nonverbal message that the

pupil was very secure, the teacher insecure, and the smile

of the student was indeed a status display to counter the

frown of the teacher. But such an analysis cannot be

ascribed if many nonverbal codes, supportive of each other,

have not been observed and recognized. However, in 1962,

very little was known about the composites of nonverbal

behavior and there is still a great deal of conjecture as

to what should comprise the total body of nonverbal cues

(Knapp, 1972).

Galloway found that those who judged teachers cate-

gorically proved to be in agreement, among themselves, to

a significant degree. However, the three experts he used

failed to agree among themselves regarding the ranking of

the teachers. Concerning the experts, one was an expert

in curriculum, one an expert in educational leadership,

and the third an expert in communication. The curriculum

expert's assessment of the teachers' nonverbal communica-

tion yielded a coefficient that was significantly related

to tests of pupil rankings of the teachers. However, the

leadership and communication experts' rankings fell short

of any significance.

Some 10 years after Galloway's innovative exploration,

the BYTES project (Beginning Teacher Evaluation Study),

done at the University of California by Sandoval (1973-74),

utilized a more extensive list of categorical behaviors

and interjected into the study the use of video taping.

The categories utilized by Sandoval were much like those

of Flanders. Sandoval did, however, incorporate such

behaviors as "teacher movement" and "teacher gestures"

(Sandoval, 1973-74).

The movement toward understanding nonverbal behavior

in the classroom owes much of its beginnings to Galloway's

gallant efforts and to those who were motivated to explore

even further. Galloway said, "The nonverbal is indeed the

language of sensitivity" (Galloway, 1970, p. 227). He

emphasized that nonverbal communication "often plays a

more significant role in student learning than the formal

teaching which takes place" (p. 397).

Much of the findings by researchers (Galloway, 1970;

Grant & Hennings, 1974; Koch, 1974) are relative to teacher

behavior in the classroom. They indicate 1. teachers

employ relatively few nonverbal behaviors from the rich

repertoire of responses available to them, 2. most teacher's

nonverbal messages are for the purpose of controlling and

directing rather than for encouraging and supporting, and

3. interaction between teachers and students is usually

formal rather than intimate.

Nonverbal Communication and the Health-Related Disciplines

Health communication systems have become complex

information systems facilitated with computer print-outs

of diagnoses, laboratory tests, and even, in some instances,

suggested treatments (Brenner & Logan, 1980). The health

care disciplines may well be the most exemplary of those

professions who will need high touch to counteract the high

technology that is permeating the field.

According to Shealy (1979),

Before 1900 the extended family supplied the
experience and support needed by the average
person. The radical uprooting of families
and the increasing number of working mothers
and single parents have led to a vacuum and a
craving for something to fill this void
generated by the disappearance of the ex-
tended family . superspecialization--is
symptomatic of the general disease spreading
through the country and also contributed to
that disease. . .The loss of family
physicians has led to the impersonal quality
of medicine today. (p. 1294)

Shealy refers to a time when the health professional,

whether physician, nurse, or dentist, went to the home.

Or, if visited in the office by the patient, the professional

spent time talking to the patient. But time has become money

and those communication skills apparently are on the wane.

Cassata (1978) states,

The state of the art of health communication
is embryonic, to say the least. . .By
applying communication theory and research,
as well as interpersonal and group skills,
communication specialists can enhance inter-
actions in medicine, the health care delivery
system and health care in general. (p. 50)

As is evident, Cassata looks to the communication

specialist to make changes in the health communication

systems. He points to an area of behavioral medicine which

would, in effect incorporate, in an interdisciplinary manner,

psychology, psychiatry, social work, allied health services,

medical sociology, medical anthropology, education, and

public health.

However, behavioral science has been making some in-

roads regarding communication in the health-related fields.

Pattishall (1976) has developed a body of knowledge and a

curriculum to aid in teaching medical students the skills

for good communication and good doctor-patient relationships.

Pattishall's objectives are broad, encompassing such areas

as 1. extending medical orientation into the field of human

behavior, 2. teaching physicians to generalize the pattern-

ing of human behavior, 3. identifying psychological, socio-

cultural, and biological factors, 4. developing skills in

identifying behaviors that are disease-specific, 5. making

the physician aware of how his or her own personality or

feelings affect the patient, and 6. recognizing the role

research plays in observing and validating behavior.

Such attention to interpersonal relations and health

communications has been apparent only in recent years.

According to a survey by Kahn et al. (1979), 68 percent of

all medical schools had a specific course to teach inter-

personal skills but at the time of the survey 22 percent of

those programs were one year old or less. Most of the topics

listed as being taught in the programs were information-

giving skills and acquisition of information skills. "The

authors suspect, however, that some of the responses are

inflated. When dealing with a prepared list of options,

a respondent has a natural tendency to be over-inclusive."

From the author's own direct observation, for example, they

suspect that such skills as "'responding' and 'demonstrating

empathy' are taught less frequently than indicated" (p. 34).

In surveying literature of the health professions it

is difficult to find research that specifically involves

nonverbal communication. What is available is directed

toward one patient in an effort to maintain control or

direct the patient, much like the teacher in the classroom.

Seldom if ever does one find nonverbal skills defined or

exemplified as a humanistic type of communication that

reduces stress or status. Nursing seems to be aware of

the nonverbal aspects of the healing process. The book for

nurses Nonverbal Communication With Patients by Blondis

and Jackson (1977) is an effective introduction to the uses

of nonverbal communication in the various aspects of nursing.

Watson (1975) writes about the meanings of touch in geriatric

nusring. It is interesting to note that most people writing

or and doing research on communication in the health profes-

sions are not members of the professions themselves. For

example, Watson is an assistant professor of sociology.

In exploring the human side of information, Dervin,

Harlock, Atwood, and Garzona (1980) emphasized the burden

on the doctor of communicating with the patient. They

describe the doctor as a mass communicator, since he or she

has to talk to so many people in one day and yet deal with

each one uniquely. The physicians' communication burden

is amplified by having to give instructions. According

to Harlock et al., surveys show that compliance with

doctors' orders ranges from 10 to 50 percent which is

also reflected in the malpractice rates.

Two studies that relate to nonverbal communication in

medicine and incorporate the skills of Ph.D.s and a

physician were conducted by Dimatteo and associates. The

studies shared similar designs. The first, by Dimatteo,

Friedman, Taranta, and Prince (1980)(Study I), was general

in nature. The second, by DiMatteo, Friedman, and Taranta

(1980)(Study II), utilized information obtained in the

first one. These studies looked at both the ability of the

physician to read or decode patients' nonverbal communica-

tion and his ability to encode or communicate empathy and

supportiveness to the patients.

In the first, 40 members of a medical housestaff parti-

cipated, 28 males and 12 females. The patient sample

numbered more than 400. The second study was similar to

that of the first, and involved 291 patients and 29

physicians. To test the decoding skill of the medical staff

the PONS test (Profile of Non-Verbal Sensitivity Test,

Rosenthal et al., 1978), was administered in both of the

studies. To test encoding skills, physicians were video

taped along with an experimenter who was simulating a

patient. The physician was given three verbally neutral

sentences to communicate expressing happiness, sadness,

anger, and surprise. This was done in both studies and

trained judges either looked at the video tape or merely

listened to the sound track and determined which emotion the

physician was expressing. Finally, in both studies, patients

were randomly assigned staff people who interacted on a con-

tinuous basis with the same patients. Interviews were then

conducted by trained interviewers who obtained information

relative to patient satisfaction with their physician.

On the PONS test the only nonverbal cues that correlated

significantly were those dealing with the body channel and

those of voice-tone encoding. As to patient satisfaction,

higher ratings were given to physicians who were skilled at

decoding body movements and postures. DiMatteo et al.

stated "the hypothesis that sensitivity to others' emotions

communicated through body movements and postures is a

physician skill that has consequence for patient satis-

faction" (p. 383). Relative to encoding, physicians "who

were better able to communicate emotion nonverbally tended

to be somewhat more successful at satisfying patients'

socioemotional needs than were physicians who lacked

sensitivity and emotional expressiveness" (p. 384).

Study II (DiMatteo, Friedman, & Taranta, 1980) focused

on whether body channel or voice was the predominant pre-

dictor of patient satisfaction. The project was designed

much like that of the first and the results pointed to the

body channel (through the PONS test) as the best predictor

of patient satisfaction.

The researchers concluded:

In addition, these studies of the relationship
between physicians' nonverbal sensitivity and
patient satisfaction may have direct relevance

to other helping professions. .. .For example,
training in decoding nonverbal cues might
eventually be a valuable addition to teaching
physicians about patient care. Furthermore,
it seems possible that sensitivity to non-
verbal communication, especially bodily cues,
will be shown to be important to all helping
professions. (p. 25)

A literature review revealed one article on teaching

of communication skills to medical undergraduates (Knox,

Alexander, Morrison, & Bennett, 1979). This was a survey

at the Department of General Practice, University of Dundee,

and merely dwelled on the methods by which a medical student

should introduce him or herself to a patient, the questions

that should be asked in obtaining a history and the method

to be used to bring an interview to closure.

Dental Literature and Nonverbal Communication

A study accomplished by two members of the dental pro-

fession, Brockhouse and Pinkham (1980) attempted to identify

the differences in ability among dental clinicians to assess

nonverbal communication in children and to investigate whether

dental students and experienced clinicians improve with

experience and formal education in assessing nonverbal


The nonverbal behaviors were not specifically identified.

They were referred to as "appropriate and inappropriate

behaviors" and the behaviors were exhibited by 22 segments

of video tape of children's faces. The age range of the

children was from 23 to 60 months. Brockhouse and Pinkham

tested 11 different categories of practitioners: 1. freshman

dental students, 2. sophomores, 3. preclinical juniors,

4. postclinical juniors, 5. pedodontic dental assistants,

6. general practitioners, 7. first year pedodontic

graduate students, 8. second year pedodontic graduate

students, 9. pedodontists, 10. diplomats, American Board

of Pedodontics, and 11. others.

The findings show that the pedodontists were signifi-

cantly better in assessing nonverbal communication than

those from other experience-levels. The pedodontic dental

assistants were significantly poorer than those from all

other groups. The researchers comment: "it is possible

that the ability to assess nonverbal communication is

related to educational level" (p. 44).

Status and Nonverbal Communication

In a country that pays tribute, at least in words,

to the equality of individuals, there would seem to be

little reason to research areas of status. The paucity

of research literature seems to bear this out. But then

one has to ask the question whether the lack of research

is due to a lack of status or social hierarchy or whether

it is due to avoidance behavior. There is an adage that

denigrates the person who "blows his own horn," thereby

casting aspersions on those who blatantly display status,

whether actual or fantasized. So the display of status

may well then become covert behavior in the form of non-

verbal status displays.

All the nonverbal codes have component behaviors that

denote status (Burgoon & Saine, 1978). Kinesic behaviors

seem to receive most of the attention when it comes to

research. Specific posture and gestural activity influ-

ence status, but the eyes seem to have it when it comes

to any prolific research studies.

Fugita (1974) attempted to extend the research of Efran

and Broughton (1966) which presented evidence that people look

more at others from whom they expect approval and that the

effect is influenced by status differences. Fugita hypo-

thesized that when a low-status person was made to inter-

act with two high-status people, one approving and one

disapproving, the low-status person would engage in more

eye contact with the approving person. In this situation,

a high level of anxiety was expected to be felt by the low-

status person. Fugita further visualized a contradictory

situation wherein one high-status person was to interact

with two low-status persons, one approving the other dis-

approving. He hypothesized that the high-status person

would avoid contact with the approving person and engage

in eye contact with the disapproving person. Confederates

were used with the subjects to carry out the high-status

positions. For example, the subjects who were students were

told to introduce themselves and tell the interviewers

(confederates) about themselves and their major. If the

students were juniors with a history major, the confederates

were told to be graduate students with 3.5 to 4.0 GPAs and

a major in history. After the interaction the student was

given a questionnaire to fill out. The results showed that

subjects tended to have greater respect only for the high-

status as opposed to the low-status confederates. There

was no significant difference between status conditions and

the anxiety of the subjects. Subjects indicated they had

more respect for the approved than the nonapprover. The

subjects' visual behavior was analyzed by examining the

amount of time they spent looking at the approved versus the

nonapprover. However, only in the high-status situation did

the subject look more at the approved than the disapprover.

In other words, they did not look more at the approved in the

low-status situation. Then, the length of time spent in eye

contact was examined. The subjects did not increase the

number of times they made eye contact with the approving

confederates, but over a period of time the glances became

more prolonged. On the other hand, the subjects perceiving

the nonapprover reduced the amount of time they maintained

eye contact and reduced the number of glances they gave him.

Tessler and Sushelsky (1978) did a study on effects of

eye contact and social status on the perception of a job

applicant in an employment interviewing situation. The

design drew upon the talents of some 60 student subjects who

were told they were to be video taped for a seminar and they

were to play the role of an interviewer. They would inter-

view an applicant who really needed a job. The applicant

was a confederate who manipulated body, eye contact, and

social status. Eye contact was either prolonged, moderate,

or absent. The social status was manipulated as to low or

high. Low status was portrayed by the applicant as his

having graduated from high school, been drafted in the army

and now in need of a job. The high status was portrayed by

the applicant as having graduated from the same school,

received an ROTC commission, earned a B.A. at Stanford,

and attended graduate school at Yale. In this study, the

applicant was perceived as having no self-confidence in the

no-eye-contact situation even in the high-status condition.

In general the applicant was perceived as having more self-

confidence when he presented a high-status background than

when he presented a low-status background. Eye contact had

no visible effect on self-confidence rating when the appli-

cant presented himself as low in social status. The subjects

were questioned as to whether the behaviors of the applicant

would affect the type of job and the opportunity to get a job.

The social status manipulation significantly affected three

out of four of the situations and subjects rated the high

social status applicant higher as compared to the low-status

applicant in the white collar category.

The Tessler and Sushelsky study suggests how self-

confidence, and its underlying constructs of self-concept,

might well be affected in status situations. And if people's

attitudes can be changed by using approving behaviors,

behavior that gives status to others who need it, then their

behaviors can be changed and even their self-concept

(Burgoon & Saine, 1978).

Posture can provide insights into status. Part of the

social construct of status emanates from formalism and

exactitude so prevalent in the military where rigidity and

upright posture is indicative of alertness and attention

(Mach, 1972). Companion to rigidity is tension. Tension is

often seen even in high-status situations, but Argyle (1975)

points out that there is the person who is high-status but

uncomfortable with that position, yet struggles to maintain

it, and then there is the person who is quite comfortable

with the high-status position and accepts it as his or her

due. There is the "possibility that the relationship between

relaxation or bodily tension and status is modified, depend-

ing on whether status differentials have been firmly estab-

lished rather than just being maintained" (p. 49). If the

status is well established then greater relaxation is

demonstrated and the nonverbal message is that "I have

nothing to fear" (p. 49).

Status is also portrayed through facial gestures. The

lowering of eyebrows has always been suggestive of a status

display as well as mouth movements (Darwin, 1872/1965).

Keating, Mazur, and Segall (1977) found for each of 12 models

who varied brow positions that the greater proportion of

observers judged the model dominant when the brows were

lowered rather than raised. This makes sense in the light

of ethological studies where the frown or drawn together

brow bespeaks a formidable foe, and the raised brow is indi-

cative of surprise (Lorenz, 1966). But brows were perceived

to be more dominant than unsmiling mouths.

Voices,too, affect impressions of status and power. A

person of status maintains calmness in the voice, slow

speech, low volume without intensity (Burgoon & Saine, 1978).

Proxemics and haptics also communicate status and power.

People of high status are given more space and keep others

at a distance. People with status control the spatiality

of the situation. As to touch, or haptics, the person who

initiates the touch is the person of status and that person

decides who should touch and what forms of touch are accept-

able and where that touch should be. The relationships of

time and spaces in time, like silences, are also status indi-

cators. When a person is made to wait for another, status

is added to the person being awaited. Teachers who call

for silence in the classroom are calling for attention to

their status and dominance (Burgoon & Saine, 1978).

Needless to say, environment can evoke status situa-

tions. For example when a desk is placed between the inter-

viewer and interviewee, there is little doubt as to who holds

the greater status. Artifacts can also be effective indica-

tors of status. The uniform of the health professional

exemplifies artifactual display of status (Burgoon & Saine,


Leadership qualities are reflected by physiognomic cues

that could be termed status displays. In the field of

psychology of leadership there is evidence of relationships

between physical characteristics, temperament, peer status,

and achievement. In one study (Mason, 1957) students were

given head and shoulder pictures of people and also full

length pictures of people and asked to judge the leader-

ship qualities of those people pictured.

The mean rank difference correlation between
the rankings assigned by the students on the
bases of the two different sets of photos was
0.80. The correlation suggests that the same
set of clues were used to judge both sets of

pictures. Furthermore, the mean coefficient
of concordance for the 16 groups of full
figure pictures was 0.30 and 14 of these were
statistically significant at or beyond the
0.05 level. Thus students have a common
conception of what a leader looks like.
(p. 273)

Leadership, with a conscious awareness of the status it

encumbers, is a needed commodity in education today. The

implication according to Mason is that leaders may be able

to tap into the nonverbal domain and thereby increase their

flexibility as people-oriented, humanistic teachers, without

sacrificing their success as task-oriented leaders. But the

would-be leaders who rely on nonverbal status displays to

project an image of position and power may be creating only a

superficial image that in truth reflects an ailing self-


Relationship of Preceding Research
to Present Study

Classification of research, its approach and focus, is

particularly important when surveying a field as broad as

nonverbal communication. This overview has attempted to

clarify the major issues of research in nonverbal communi-

cation, elucidate the various disciplinary approaches, and

focus on the types of research being conducted in the area

of education, especially health-related education.

In relating this overview to the present study, it is

necessary to first categorize the study. Concurrent with

Burgoon's classifications (1980), the present study investi-

gates the combined areas of awareness and shared meaning.

Its focus is directed toward nonlinguistic acts and its

efforts are directed toward a functional behavioral approach

with an emphasis on educational practice. This study is

concerned with teacher nonverbal behavior as it relates to

such variables as self-concept and preferred learning style.

New high technology calls for more humanistic communi-

cation to maintain an important balance between interactions

of human beings with machines. Such a challenge requires new

leaders in every discipline, leaders who understand the need

for quality communication that includes emotion and feeling.

It also demands leaders who can demonstrate quality skills in

humanistic communications.

According to the study by Mason (1957) on leadership

qualities as they are reflected in physiognomic cues, his

students did "have a common conception of what a leader looks

like" (p. 273). He utilized still pictures of the subjects

who were to be ranked by students as to their leadership


It is necessary that leadership in communication be a

moving commentary, a series of behaviors that communicate

the emotion that can and does exist between beings. It is

equally important to recognize that the language that best

communicates human nature and feelings is nonverbal. Further-

more it is essential that barriers which impede or impair

communication be removed, especially in an era where new

information and knowledge are forthcoming more rapidly than

at any other time in the history of mankind. It is out of

consideration for this new electronic era and experimentation

with new interactive media that the need and design for this

study have grown.


This study explored the possibility of associations)

between nonverbal status displays and self-concept and also

between nonverbal displays and preferred learning styles.

The setting was a college of dentistry. The populace

involved dental educators whose nonverbal behaviors were

observed by dental students. A group of expert observers

of nonverbal communication was also included.

The dependent variable in this study is nonverbal status

as displayed by dental educators and as observed by dental

students. The two independent variables are self-concept

and preferred learning style. Comparisons and correlations

were made in an effort to ascertain if there were any

association between variables.

To understand the methods used to obtain the data for

this study it is necessary to comprehend the uniqueness of

the college where the study took place. Furthermore, it

should be understood that this school, although novel among

dental schools today, may exemplify the norm of dental

colleges in the next twenty years. It is also plausible

that the dental college in this study may represent most

educational institutions in the future if the tendency to

mediate education in a more technological vein continues.

Population Sample


The Chairman of Dental Education convenience-selected

12 dental educators, teaching in the summer semester of

1984, as being likely to participate in the study. Three

educators filled each of the four professional ranks of

instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and

full professor. The researcher contacted and informed each

of the educators about the subject of the study. Each

educator was told that the study concerned teaching methods

and that additional information could not be provided with-

out compromising the investigation. Participant acceptance

was formalized by means of a signed affidavit (Appendix A).


The student sample of 53 dental students was convenience-

selected. Random selection could not be made from the total

dental student populace since first year students had not

been given the cognitive style mapping test which formed a

part of this research design.

As this study evolved, there was concern that a halo

effect might be present in the observations of the dental

students since the educators they were evaluating were known

to all the students in the study. To ascertain if a halo

effect was present, a control group of 27 pharmacy students,

convenience-selected, were given the same orientation and

testing as the dental students with the exception of being

given a cognitive style mapping test.


The sample of experts was derived by means of conveni-

ence selection since the prospect of finding expert observers

in the area of nonverbal communication is limited. Seven

experts comprised this sample, five males and two females.

They represented various disciplines:1. education, professor;

2. pharmacy, assistant dean and professor; 3. communication

sciences, professor; 4. broadcast journalism, professor;

5. psychology, professor; 6. dentistry, professor; and

7. speech pathologist, Ph.D. with a private practice.


Video Taping

A single, JVC KY 2000 color camera was utilized to pro-

duce the video tape which was recorded on a Sony 4800

recorder. A unidirectional Sennheiser microphone was used

to record the conversations. A single camera operator who

had been informed of the interest in recording nonverbal

behavior operated the equipment. Only available lighting

was used in order not to complicate the production or draw

attention to the procedure.

In most instances educators being video taped under

similar circumstances would exhibit nervous behaviors.

However, the educators in this dental school are used to

being video taped both to provide curriculum material and

also as a part of a micro-teaching program developed to

improve teaching techniques.

Each educator was video taped over a period of one hour.

The number of student-teacher interactions varied with each

educator due to such factors as the time of day or the

students' schedules and the nature of the work in the clinic.

Upon completion of video taping, the tapes were

edited to form one composite tape. The 12 original tapes

were edited for one minute of behavior at five minutes into

the tape, at 10 minutes and finally at 15 minutes into the

tape. On the composite tape, the three-minute segments of

educator behavior were consolidated into a random arrange-

ment with 30-second numerical labels separating each three-

minute segment i.e., El, E2, E3, etc.



Since educators were not involved in the testing for

nonverbal status displays,no orientation was given them.


In a separate session, one week removed from the actual

testing session, the dental students were given a half hour

orientation regarding nonverbal status displays as they

might appear within each of the seven nonverbal codes

Figures 1, 2, and 3 (see Appendix B).


Orientation relative to the expert group was accomplished

on an individual basis. It usually involved the verification

of nonverbal terms, degrees of behavior or questions relative

to the enumerating of occurrences of status displays.


/ Environment

/ Haptics Touch

Figure 1. Environment and Nonverbal Status Displays.

Own go*
CI '"

Artifacts Personal Appearance

1 7T Kinesics Body & Eye Movement

Figure 2. Artifacts, Vocalics, and Kinesics as Nonverbal
Status Displays.

Proxemlcs Spatial Relations

Chronemlcs Waiting Time

Figure 3. Proxemics and Chronemics as Nonverbal Status Displays.



Educators were given the Tennessee Self-Concept Test and

asked to follow the printed directions. They were to take

the test on their own time, returning it to the researcher

when completed. All of the educators returned the test.

They had previously been given the cognitive style mapping



Students were given an envelope containing the Tennessee

Self-Concept Test and the grid for denoting nonverbal status

displays while they watched the video tape. Meeting at a

designated classroom, the students were first given the

Tennessee Self-Concept Test followed by viewing the video

tape and noting nonverbal status displays (Appendix C).


Experts were tested on an individual basis in order to

accommodate their time schedules. Experts were not given

the Tennessee Self-Concept Test or the cognitive style

mapping test.


Tennessee Self-Concept Test

Developed by William Fitts (1970), the Tennessee Self-

Concept Test consists of 100 questions the answers to which

comprise a self-concept matrix. The matrix is structured with

six columns addressing 1. physical self, 2. moral-ethical

self, 3. personal self, 4. family self, 5. social self,

6. self-criticism. Three rows complete the matrix which

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