Hierarchisation and dominance assessment at first glance



In this study 97 subjects were observed during free discussions in same sex triads and dyads. In earlier research, it has been found that rank-ordering in ad hoc groups occurs at a very early phase of the interaction. In this study it is shown that, in the absence of status characteristics, rank-ordering occurs not only right from the beginning of group interactions, but even exists after a first glance, before one word has been spoken. Not only nonverbal behaviours that are usually associated with the development or maintenance of a dominance position appear to be predictive for the amount of talking in the discussion to follow, but also personality measures. As the verbal interactions do not result in a change of the first glance rank-ordering, our data support the view that rapid judgements of interpersonal relationships may occur without much cognitive information processing.