Sibling resemblances in nonverbal skill and style

Peter D. Blanck, Miron Zuckerman, Bella M. DePaulo, Robert Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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This study explored the hypothesis that siblings display a tendency for family resemblance in nonverbal decoding skills. Thirty-seven sibling pairs between the ages of 9 and 15 were administered the videotaped Nonverbal Discrepancy Test. This audiovisual test assesses (1) decoding accuracy-the extent to which subjects are able to identify affects (positivity and dominance) from face, body, and tone of voice cues; (2) discrepancy accuracy-the extent to which subjects recognize the degree of discrepancy between audio and video cues; and (3) video primacy-the extent to which subjects are more influenced by video (face or body) than by audio cues. Brother-brother pairs showed family resemblances in all three nonverbal indices, whereas brother-sister pairs displayed family similarity only in discrepancy accuracy. Overall, sibling pairs showed a tendency for family resemblance in nonverbal decoding. The processes that might lead siblings to develop similar patterns of nonverbal skills were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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