Communication length as an index of communicator attitude: A replication

Arthur N. Wiens, Russell H. Jackson, Thomas S. Manaugh, Joseph D. Matarazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Attempted a replication of a study by A. Mehrabian (see 40:2) who extended studies of speech behavior to apply to letters of recommendation. 69 undergraduates were asked to write 2 letters, both positive. For the 1st letter they were asked to assume strong liking for the person they were describing; for the 2nd letter they were to assume strong dislike for the person being described. Mehrabian's Ss wrote significantly more words in the 1st letters. The replication fully confirms his results. These findings suggest that the written channel of communication may be as sensitive a mirror of S's underlying attitudinal state as earlier research had revealed was the case with the spoken channel of communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-266
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1969
Externally publishedYes


  • written recommendation length, attitude toward person described

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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