Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. George Robeck

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven Rhodes

Third Advisor

Dr. Ruth Heinig

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study attempts to identify nonverbal cues which individuals are aware of using in an initial encounter and to identify the importance of those cues. It also a d dresses possible differences between men and women in nonverbal cue importance and possible differences based on the sex of the participant’s partner. Sixty-two male and female undergraduate students enrolled in communication courses interacted with a stranger and completed questionnaires which pertained to their partner's nonverbal behaviors. Results showed that the most important nonverbal cue for all participants was the amount of eye contact; the least important was body shape. Cues found to have significant differences based on sex of partner were leg/feet movement, dress, physical appearance, and body shape. Further research which incorporates a broad range of nonverbal cues is needed to clarify the role and importance of nonverbal behaviors in impression formation.