The Relationship between Displaying and Perceiving Nonverbal Cues of Affect: A Meta-Analysis to Solve an Old Mystery

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming

47 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2009 Last revised: 10 Oct 2009

See all articles by Hillary Anger Elfenbein

Hillary Anger Elfenbein

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin School of Business

Noah Eisenkraft

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: July 8, 2009

Abstract

The authors address the decades-old mystery of the association between individual differences in the display and perception of nonverbal cues of affect. Prior theories predicted positive, negative, and zero correlations in performance - given empirical results ranging from r=-.80 to r= .64. A meta-analysis of 40 effects showed a positive correlation for nonverbal behaviors elicited as intentional communication displays, but zero for spontaneous, naturalistic, or a combination of display types. There was greater variation in the results of studies using round robin designs yet analyzed with statistics that do not account for the interdependence of data. We discuss implications for theorists to distinguish emotional skills in terms of what people are capable of doing vs. what people actually do.

Keywords: Affect, emotion, expression, perception, recognition, meta-analysis, Social Relations Model

Suggested Citation

Elfenbein, Hillary Anger and Eisenkraft, Noah, The Relationship between Displaying and Perceiving Nonverbal Cues of Affect: A Meta-Analysis to Solve an Old Mystery (July 8, 2009). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1431729

Hillary Anger Elfenbein (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin School of Business ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Noah Eisenkraft

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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