New article by PBS Faculty Alan Fridlund highlights the importance of context when interpreting nonverbal behavior

May 10, 2023

Nonverbal behavior might tell you less than what you think - if interpreted outside its context. A new article by PBS Associate Professor Alan Fridlund and colleagues, featured in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology blog, details misconceptions and limitations of interpreting nonverbal behavior. For instance, are there unambiguous markers of lying that can be detected in body language, including in facial expressive behavior? The quest of finding reliable facial and body correlates of specific social behaviors and emotional states has long been a goal of social and affective scientists, but the answer seems to be nuanced. “So what does nonverbal behavior tell you? As we hope we've made clear, it depends.”

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Other reading:

Patterson, M. L., Fridlund, A. J., & Crivelli, C. (2023). Four misconceptions about nonverbal communication. Perspectives on Psychological Science.