Counselor nonverbal behaviors and client evaluations

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Three studies examined the effects of 3 types of nonverbal counselor behavior on client evaluations. In Study 1, 104 female undergraduates, assuming the role of client, rated a 10-min segment of a counseling session with a standard script containing either high or low levels of eye contact, direct body orientation, and forward lean. With both male and female counselors, Ss rated counselors with high levels of these nonverbal behaviors as more attractive and facilitative. In Study 2, with the script altered to provide a very low as well as a moderate level of verbal empathy, similar results were obtained with 40 different raters; however, nonverbal behavior did not, as expected, become even more significant in differentiating the facilitativeness and attractiveness of counselors. In Study 3, 18 students met counselors for 10-min initial discussions of their personal problems; counselors provided high or low levels of the same types of nonverbal behavior. In this quasi-counseling setting, clients exposed to the distinct nonverbal conditions did not provide significantly different ratings on the measures of attractiveness and facilitativeness. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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