Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 203–231 | Cite as

Nonverbal Behavior of Persuasive Sources: A Multiple Process Analysis

  • Joshua J. GuyerEmail author
  • Pablo Briñol
  • Richard E. Petty
  • Javier Horcajo
Review Paper


This article describes the basic mechanisms by which the nonverbal behavior of a communicator can influence recipients’ attitudes and persuasion. We review the literature on classic variables related to persuasive sources (e.g., physical attractiveness, credibility, and power), as well as research on mimicry and facial expressions of emotion, and beyond. Using the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) as a framework, we argue that the overt behavior of source variables can affect attitude change by different psychological processes depending on different circumstances. Specifically, we describe the primary and secondary cognitive processes by which nonverbal behaviors of the source (e.g., smiling, nodding, eye contact, and body orientation) affect attitude change. Furthermore, we illustrate how considering the processes outlined by the ELM can help to predict when and why attractive, credible, and powerful communicators can not only increase persuasion but also be detrimental for persuasion.


Nonverbal behavior Body Source Attitudes Persuasion 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua J. Guyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pablo Briñol
    • 1
  • Richard E. Petty
    • 2
  • Javier Horcajo
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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