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Rapport expressed through nonverbal behavior

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Abstract

Family Medicine residents were videotaped in interviews with a new and a return-visit patient. Two coders recorded nonverbal behavior performed by the residents for two, one-minute segments of each interview. Categories of movement included: proxemic behaviors of distance, orientation, and trunk lean, and head, hand/arm, and leg/foot movement, facial expression, and direction of gaze. Each of the 36 video segments were rated by a group of psychiatric nurses using bipolar adjective scales assessing dimensions of rapport. Significant differences in nonverbal behavior were found between high and low rapport doctors. Physicians were rated more positively when they sat directly facing the patient, with uncrossed legs, and arms in symmetrical, side-by-side positions. High rapport doctors also engaged in moderate, but less extensive eye contact, with the patient than low rapport doctors. Discussion focuses on the impact of nonverbal behavior on physician-patient communication and the establishment of rapport.
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... Steward et al. (1987) explain this lack of research by the fact that nonverbal messages are difficult to measure (in the course of time) since they are perceived in a predominantly unconscious manner. When considering the sender, research mainly focuses on manual coding by binarily capturing the presence or the absence of a nonverbal behavior (Clark and Greatbatch 2011;Harrigan et al. 1985), which neither allows temporal variations nor specific time-series to be analyzed. Thus, as its second research question this paper captures customers' temporal evaluations of videotaped sales presentations (i.e., elevator pitches). ...
... Research across different fields of study is dominated by manual binary coding of the presence or absence of a certain behavior (Clark and Greatbatch 2011;Harrigan et al. 1985) without considering its variations over time. As a consequence, only the frequencies of specific nonverbal cues were considered (such as the number of head movements per video-clip) as described by Ambady and Rosenthal (1993), which neglects the concurrent appearance of different behaviors over time. ...
... An explanation for the results is evident in prior research in other disciplines. Higher rapport between interaction partners (i.e., physicians and patients) was reported to be present when interaction partners tended to be closer in terms of proximity, faced the counterpart, leaned forward, and had an open arm and leg posture (Harrigan et al. 1985). Moreover, decreasing levels of trunk lean and higher rates of head and hand movements were associated with persuasiveness of the presenter (Mehrabian and Williams 1969). ...
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Significant resources are spent each year on sales forces and the means by which to enhance their effectiveness during a sales interaction or presentation. Specifically, studies point to the importance of charismatic nonverbal cues (for example, facial expressions, gestures) in impression formation. However, these behaviors are mainly perceived in an unconscious manner, making behavior measurement a difficult task. Moreover, existing research is dominated by post-exposure measures and neglects customers’ processing of impressions over time. This research addresses the outlined gaps and introduces continuous measurement of sales presentations based on different data sources. First, we provide novel insights by applying high-precision coding of 141 nonverbal behaviors of 22 videotaped sales presentations using body actions and posture coding procedures. Second, this study uses an innovative approach to capture customer impressions of sales representatives’ charisma in real-time by means of a program analyzer, which allows evaluative measurements while concurrently being exposed to sales presentations. This time-series evaluation approach contributes to the understanding of impression formation and allows for linking nonverbal sales behaviors to customers’ evaluations over the course of time. Findings from a large sample experimental study (n = 663) show that negative opinions are formed somewhat faster than positive ones. In addition, body movements (e.g., head/trunk/leg/knee movements, arm actions) driving these impressions are the same for the first few seconds and for longer periods.
... Interviewers have deemed a stable maintenance of rapport beneficial for successful interview results Walsh & Bull, 2012). As a crucial factor affecting the quality of social interactions, rapport has been defined in different ways, such as positivity between interactants (Bernieri & Gillis, 2001); togetherness or harmony (Vicaria, Bernieri, & Isaacowitz, 2015); operational accord (Abbe & Brandon, 2013; an open, interested and warm relationship (Harrigan et al., 1985); interviewers' positive attitudes toward interviewees and conveyance of genuine respect (Hartwig et al., 2005); and a positive relationship composed of trust and communication . All factors that have been studied vis-à-vis rapport indicate that rapport consists of various elements, and that pinpointing a single definition that is agreeable to all and applicable in research is difficult. ...
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Rapport is a fundamental psychological construct and understanding it conceptually, including how it is perceived in social interactions, may have a crucial impact on human relations. Culture may be a key that can disentangle and elucidate dynamic characteristics about the nature of rapport as culture provides different and unique meaning systems. We examined cultural similarities and differences in social perceptions of rapport in a context in which interactants had different cultural/ethnic backgrounds. Observers from three very different culture/language groups rated their perceptions about the quality of rapport along 11 conceptually theorized rapport dimensions in video clips presenting one-on-one interviews that differed in their rapport levels. The observer ratings reduced to the same two dimensions across all observer groups, Positivity and Negativity, and there were considerable cultural similarities, along with some differences, in perceptions of rapport across videos. We discussed these findings concerning future theory and research on rapport in various contexts.
... As another feature of a positive or negative interpersonal relationship, the agent is able to turn its direction of gaze as well as the orientation of its body toward or away from the interlocutor [16]. The agent is also able to adjust its interpersonal distance by moving closer or further away from its interlocutor. ...
Chapter
Humans communicate on three levels: words, paralanguage, and nonverbal. While conversational agents focus mainly on the interpretation of words that are being spoken, recently the focus has also shifted to how we say those words with our tone, pace, and intonation. Nonverbal communication, including facial expression, eye contact, posture, and proximity, has been largely ignored in human-agent interactions. In this work, we propose to incorporate nonverbal behavior into conversations between humans and agents by displaying a human-like embodied agent on a large screen and by responding appropriately to nonverbal cues from the interlocutors. In a user study with 19 volunteers, we investigated the influence on the participants for different behaviors (mimicry, positively biased mimicry, negatively biased mimicry, random) of the embodied conversation agents. The results indicate that goal-directed behavior is perceived significantly better concerning likability, social competence, attitude, and responsiveness in comparison to random behavior. This indicates that already simple nonverbal methods of building rapport can be used to improve the perceived conversational quality with an embodied conversational agent.
... However, the couples and co-therapists showed less in-phase movement synchrony in sessions where they spoke more (and vice versa). Non-verbal behavior may preface speaking turns (Harrigan et al., 1985), and cultural and language style matching may inversely correlate with body movement (Dale et al., 2020). Furthermore, talking requires retrieving different kinds of information from memory and combining them into larger structures (Hagoort and Levelt, 2009). ...
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