Counselor verbal intervention, nonverbal behavior, and social power

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Abstract

It was hypothesized that (a) counselors using particular verbal interventions (interpretation or restatement) and nonverbal behavior (high or low responsiveness) would be perceived to be differentially expert, trustworthy, and attractive, and (b) they would be differentially able to influence. Eight groups of 10 undergraduates viewed 1 of 8 videotaped counseling sessions defined by verbal and nonverbal variables and 2 male counselors. All videotapes were prepared from versions of the same script and employed the same female client, whose behavior was consistent across conditions. Evaluation was by Barak & LaCrosse's (1975) Counselor Rating Form and a scale of opinions about the client's needs. Results indicate that (a) the use of interpretation was perceived as more expert and trustworthy than the use of restatement; (b) the use of responsive nonverbal behavior was perceived as more expert, attractive, and trustworthy than the use of unresponsive nonverbal behavior, and (c) counselor verbal intervention interacted with nonverbal behavior to affect perceptions of the counselor. The 2 counselors were not differentially able to influence the Ss. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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