Sex Differences in Nonverbal and Verbal Communication With Bosses, Peers, and Subordinates

Nicole A. Steckler, Robert Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Relatively little is known about differences in either the nonverbal or verbal behavior of male and female managers. The present study examines both nonverbal and verbal behavior of male and female master's in business administration (MBA) candidates as they speak on the telephone to their boss, peer, and subordinate. Ratings of the competence and warmth of their tone of voice and of the transcript of the conversation yielded parallel measures of both nonverbal and verbal channels. A repeated measures analysis of variance for the competence variable yielded a significant interaction between sex of speaker and status of person spoken to (i.e., boss, peer, or subordinate) such that females' voices were rated as sounding more competent both verbally and nonverbally when they were speaking to their bosses, whereas males' voices were rated as more competent when they were speaking to their peers. The results are discussed in terms of sex role stereotypes of males and females in management positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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