Video-mediated judgements of personal characteristics based upon nonverbal cues

Owen Hargie, David Dickson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The process of forming initial judgements to do with a range of personal attributes such as age, marital status, personality, etc. plays an important part in making contact with other people and forming relationships with them (Kleinke, 1986). It has also been the subject of extensive psychological enquiry of late (Cook, 1984). The twofold objectives of the present investigation were, firstly, to establish the degree of correspondence between observers’ judgements based upon video presentations of subjects, and subjects’ actual age, marital status, religion, socio‐economic status and personality; and, secondly, to determine the types of nonverbal cue upon which such impressions were founded. Results revealed that only in the case of age did the correlation between observered and actual values of the variable reach significance. The nonverbal cues implicated seemed to be mostly to do with subjects’ appearance, hair and face. More broadly, appearance, as a general category of observation, was extensively represented throughout the study, irrespective of the accuracy of the specific judgement arrived at. Results are discussed within the context of existing research findings. Limitations of the study are identified and suggestions made as to ways in which this work may be extended, particularly in respect of the importance of video and television replays as an observational medium.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-43
    JournalLearning, Media and Technology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1991


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