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Submissive, inhibited, avoidant, and prone to escape: The correlates and consequences of crossing one’s arms

Fetterman, Adam K and Bair, Jessica L and Robinson, Michael D (2015) 'Submissive, inhibited, avoidant, and prone to escape: The correlates and consequences of crossing one’s arms.' Motivation Science, 1 (1). pp. 37-46. ISSN 2333-8113

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Abstract

Some scholars of nonverbal behavior contend that arm-crossing indicates a defensive orientation to the social environment, but relevant evidence is sparse. Three studies (N = 242) sought to investigate whether there is truth to this idea. Consistent with it, Study 1 found that people reporting higher arm-crossing frequencies scored higher in interpersonal submissiveness and were more inhibited in their social decision-making. To investigate causal processes, Studies 2 and 3 manipulated arm-crossing using a hypothesis-disguising cover story. Study 2 found that arm-crossing activated thoughts of the self’s submissiveness and social vulnerability. Study 3 focused on activated strategies for handling potential interpersonal violence. Participants in an arm-crossing condition, relative to a control condition, indicated that they would be more inclined to escape and less likely to attack. The studies converge on the idea that arm-crossing can signify and cause a defensive social orientation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Adam Fetterman
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2015 11:39
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2015 11:39
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15644

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