Sex differences in eavesdropping on nonverbal cues: Developmental changes

Peter Blanck, al et al

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Examined the developmental acquisition of females' superiority in decoding nonverbal cues. Three age groups (121 male and 129 female 9-15 yr olds, 46 male and 63 female high school students, and 32 male and 49 female undergraduates) were examined cross-sectionally, and 24 male and 24 female 11-24 yr olds were examined longitudinally. Decoding of 4 types of nonverbal cues (face, body, tone, and discrepancies), arranged from the most to the least controllable (most "leaky") channel, was examined. ANOVA and the appropriate contrast showed that as age increased, females lost more and more of their advantage for the more leaky or more covert channels but that they gained more and more of their advantage for the less leaky channels. Results of the longitudinal 1-yr study support those of the cross-sectional study--during the year, women lost more and more of their advantage in more leaky channels. Results are consistent with a socialization interpretation--that as females grow older, they may learn to be more nonverbally courteous or accommodating. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-396
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981
Externally publishedYes



  • age &
  • sex differences, ability to decode nonverbal cues, male vs female 9-15 yr olds vs high school vs college students, 1-yr longitudinal study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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