Date of Graduation
This study investigated the relative contribution of nonverbal behavior to the judged level of empathy communicated in a role-played counseling interview. Thirty master's level counselor candidates rated thirty-two combinations of eye contact, body orientation, trunk lean, hand gesture, and positive head nod, with standardized interaction distance and medium level verbal empathy message on a modification of the Truax-Carkhuff Empathy Scale. The study employed a 2x2x2x2x2 repeated measures analysis of variance design. Results showed that two of the main effects and fifteen interactions significantly accounted for the variability of the subejcts' ratings. The results support the conclusion that empathy is communicated in more than one channel and that all of the nonverbal behaviors studied produced considerable effects on lowering or raising the judged level of communicated empathy in a simulated counseling interview. Additionally, the data indicated that engaging in certain nonempathlc nonverbal behaviors can be compensated for engaging in alternate empathic behaviors that are compensatory. Findings were discussed regarding the role of nonverbal behaviors in the communication of empathic understanding in counseling and therapy. Additionally, subsequent implications for counseling practice and counselor training were discussed.
Mcmullan, George Ronald, "The Relative Contribution Of Selected Nonverbal Behaviors To The Communication Of Empathy In A Counseling Interview." (1974). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9401.