Observer Liking of Unilateral Stroke Patients

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Abstract

Objective

To examine observers' initial affective impressions of unilateral stroke patients, based on exposure to the patients' verbal and nonverbal behavior. Given the linguistic deficits associated with left hemisphere damage (LHD), the authors expected affective judgments based on exposure to patients' utterances to be reduced for patients with LHD. Given the nonverbal deficits associated with right hemisphere damage (RHD), the authors expected affective judgments based on exposure to patients' facial expressions to be reduced for patients with RHD.

Method

Ten patients with LHD, 11 patients with RHD, and seven normal control (NC) patients were videotaped while engaging in social interaction. Observers read transcripts of the interactions and made judgments about how much they liked the patients. They then watched soundless videotapes and made similar liking judgments. This reflected a 3 (patient group) ± 2 (coding modality) mixed factorial design.

Results

A 2 ± 3 analysis of variance yielded a significant interaction. When liking judgments were based on utterances, patients with LHD were liked less than patients with RHD and NC patients. When liking judgments were based on facial expressions, patients with RHD were liked less than patients with LHD and NC patients.

Conclusions

The verbal behavior of patients with LHD and the nonverbal behavior of patients with RHD may affect others' impressions of them, and consequently put these patients at interpersonal risk.

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