Knowing too much about others: Moderators of the relationship between eavesdropping and rapport in social interaction

  • Puccinelli N
  • Tickle-Degnen L
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This study examined the association between a partner's ability to eavesdrop on nonverbal cues and an actor's feelings of rapport during interaction, as well as neuroticism and self-monitoring as moderators of this effect. Eavesdropping ability was defined as lower sensitivity to cues of the face, a source of overtly displayed emotions, relative to sensitivity to cues of the body, a source of "leakage" of covert or hidden emotions. Results showed that actors felt less rapport the higher their partner's eavesdropping. High neuroticism actors were especially likely to feel worse about their interaction and themselves when their partners were good at eavesdropping. In both instances, the eavesdropper's nonverbal behavior seems to have mediated the associations to a small degree.

Author-supplied keywords

  • eavesdropping
  • emotional responses
  • interpersonal interaction
  • nonverbal communication
  • satisfaction

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  • Nancy M. Puccinelli

  • Linda Tickle-Degnen

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