Sensitivity to facial expressions as a function of group experience : holistic theory and nonverbal communication

Patterson, Donna Lee (1980) Sensitivity to facial expressions as a function of group experience : holistic theory and nonverbal communication. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

This research examined nonverbal communication (NVC), namely the decoding of facial affect, in light of a holistic theoretical framework. Primarily a study of communication, this work was aimed at discovering whether or not accuracy in decoding facial affect increased as a function of group/laboratory experience. Twenty-seven subjects (18 experimental and 9 control) took part. All subjects completed a test battery which included the Affect Recognition Scale (ARS), a measure of sensitivity to facial affect. This instrument, based on the work of Ekman and associates (1975), consisted of a series of slides depicting six affect categories--happy, sad, fear, anger, surprise, disgust, each at three intensity levels--slight, moderate and extreme. The Q-Sort, a measure of personal congruence, plus a questionnaire on the nature of group experience were also used as part of the test battery. Each administration of these instruments (pre- and post-) yielded one correlation for the Q-Sort plus a series of scores on the ARS. -- While the mean for both groups changed in a positive direction on the Q-Sort, this change was not statistically significant. There was a statistically significant change on the overall mean of the ARS for the control group on the post-administration. As well on the post, there was a significant difference between groups on one of the ARS subtests. Other non-significant trends were discussed. -- Holistic theory as well as Dabrowski's theory of positive disintegration were used in the discussion of these results. A number of limitations of the study and suggestions for future research were also presented. -- The methodology used in this study may be useful in further attempts to understand the development and theoretical basis of NVC. Much of the value of the work lies in its exploratory heuristic nature and in its attempt to evolve theoretical directions for future NVC research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7844
Item ID: 7844
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 58-73.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1980
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Facial expression; Nonverbal communication

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