Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Studies on social embodiment or embodied cognition have identified various body positions that temporarily affect mood. Another group of studies on attraction have identified nonverbal positions that people in relationships subconsciously take that express their feelings. This study brings together both fields in establishing an embodiment effect with two nonverbal positions identified in past research to express interpersonal attraction: lean and body posture. Participants interacted with a video-taped individual in a mock closed-circuit television setting, reading off of scripted questionnaire sheets positioned contiguously with a TV in a way that induced them into positions of either a forward lean with an open body posture or a backward lean with a closed body posture. To verify, two other conditions existed in which participants were instructed to assume these nonverbal positions. Following the interaction, participants rated their interaction and their dyadic partner on measures of interpersonal attraction. Results show that leaning forward more significantly decreased attraction through mediation by greater unhappiness. Having a more open body posture was not found to be a variable influencing attraction directly, but in an interaction with type of inducement into positions, it did increase attraction through mediations by lesser unhappiness and by lesser depression. Affect was found to fully mediate the effects of lean and posture with manipulation on attraction.


Greg Turek

Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2005 Darin J. Challacombe


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