references needed for statistics

Jane A. Edwards edwards at COGSCI.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Nov 11 22:24:50 UTC 1997

On Tue, 11 Nov 1997, George Elgin, Suzette Haden Elgin wrote:

> Can anyone on this list provide me with references -- however vague -- for
> two statistics that seem to appear all over the place (my books included)
> without credits? They are: that, as an average, 65% of all communication in
> spoken English is nonverbal; and that, as an average, more than 90% of all
> *emotional* communication in spoken English is nonverbal. These figures

These numbers definitely have the flavor of work in social psychology,
psychotherapy or communication prior to 1980.
I think you would get a more definitive answer, therefore, if you
post to a list more in those areas - perhaps lang-use (info appended).
But my best bet is that the 65% figure came from Mehrabian's work:

> Mehrabian, Albert; Ferris, Susan R.
>         Inference of Attitudes from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels.
>       Journal of Consulting Psychology, 1967, v31 (n3):248-252.
> Abstract: 3 degrees of attitude (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative) in
>      facial expression were each combined with 3 degrees of attitude
>      communicated vocally. The vocal communications of attitude were
>      superimposed on a neutral word. In preparing the 2-component
>      communications, the components were selected so that the degree of
>      positive attitude communicated facially was equivalent to that
>      communicated vocally-i.e., the independent effects of the 2 components
>      were comparable. It was found that attitudes inferred from combined
>      facial-vocal communications are a linear function of the attitudes
>      communicated in each component, with the facial component receiving
>      approximately 3/2 the weight received by the vocal component.
>      Implications of the findings for more general attitude-communication
>      problems are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Copyright 1967 American
>      Psychological Assn, all rights reserved).

He also has a book:
Mehrabian, Albert.  Nonverbal communication.  Chicago, Aldine-Atherton [1972].

Best Wishes,

-Jane Edwards

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