Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences between high- and low-rated clinicians in the observed frequency of each of ten selected nonverbal behaviors. Student clinicians, who met certain criteria, were rated independently by two faculty members primarily responsible for supervision of clinicians. Based on these ratings, clinicians were ranked from high to low. The top thirty-three per cent and the lower thirty-three per cent of these clinicians served as the two groups of subjects for this study. The high-rated group was composed of eight clinicians and the low-rated group was composed of six clinicians for a total of fourteen subjects.

Each subject was videotaped for three randomly-selected five- minute segments of the forty-minute therapy session. The experimenter then viewed these five-minute videotapings and counted the occurrence of each of the ten nonverbal behaviors under investigation. These behaviors were: smiles, positive and negative head nods, gestures, self-manipulation, positive and negative touch, posture changes, and forward leans.

Data were analyzed using t-test and multiple correlation procedures. High-rated clinicians used significantly more of the nonverbal behaviors which serve as social reinforcers, and as signals in social interaction than did low-rated clinicians, and low-rated clinicians used more self-manipulation. Also, high correlations were found between some of the nonverbal behaviors and the criteria used to evaluate clinicians.