This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Strength of Attractiveness and the Power of Visual Nonverbal Communication When Rating One's Communicative Competence




Gill, Jennifer

Type of Degree



Communication and Journalism


The effect that actual communicative competence, attractiveness, and method of observation have on one’s perceived competence was examined. Four hundred and thirty-three participants either watched video or listened to an audiotape of an interaction. Then they rated the communicative competence of the female speaker in the interaction, Sue. Sue was either attractive or unattractive and displayed either competent or incompetent behaviors. Results showed that attractiveness did not significantly affect how individuals perceived Sue’s competence. Method of observation was not a statistically significant predictor of competent Sue’s perceived competence, however, method of observation did significantly affect how participants rated incompetent Sue’s perceived competence.