Nonverbal signals speak up: Association between perceptual nonverbal dominance and emotional intelligence

Professorship/Faculty: Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment  
Author(s): Jacob, Heike; Kreifelts, Benjamin; Brück, Carolin; Nizielski, Sophia; Schütz, Astrid  ; Wildgruber, Dirk
Title of the Journal: Cognition & emotion
ISSN: 0269-9931
Publisher Information: Abingdon : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Year of publication: 2012
Volume: (2012)
Pages: 1-17 ; Diagramme
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2012.739999
Emotional communication uses verbal and nonverbal means. In case of conflicting signals, nonverbal
information is assumed to have a stronger impact. It is unclear, however, whether perceptual
nonverbal dominance varies between individuals and whether it is linked to emotional intelligence.
Using audiovisual stimulus material comprising verbal and nonverbal emotional cues that were varied
independently, perceptual nonverbal dominance profiles and their relations to emotional intelligence
were examined. Nonverbal dominance was found in every participant, ranging from 55 to 100%.
Moreover, emotional intelligence, particularly the ability to understand emotions, correlated
positively with nonverbal dominance. Furthermore, higher overall emotional intelligence as well as
a higher ability to understand emotions were linked to smaller reaction time differences between
emotionally incongruent and congruent stimuli. The association between perceptual nonverbal
dominance and emotional intelligence, and more specifically the ability to understand emotions,
might reflect an adaptive process driven by the experience of higher authenticity in nonverbal cues.
Keywords: emotional incongruence, emotional intelligence, facial expression, nonverbal dominance, prosody, understanding emotions
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 15. March 2013