Behavioral communication

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Behavioral Communication is a psychological construct that addresses people's use of day-to-day behaviors as a form of communication. Specifically, it refers to people's tendency to express feelings, needs, and thoughts by means of indirect messages and behavioral impacts.

Any behavior (or its absence when one is expected) may be judged as communicative if it has the intent to convey a message. For example, an expressive hairstyle, a show of a certain emotion, stonewalling (emotional withdrawal), or simply doing (or not doing) the dishes all can be means by which people may convey messages to each other.

The construct of behavioral communication is conceived as a variable of Individual differences. This means that some people more than others tend to engage in behavioral communication in spite of the plausible alternatives of using verbal communication.

A measure of the construct, The Behavioral Communication Questionnaire (M. Ivanov, 2008), has been introduced at the Society for Personality Assessment conference in March, 2008.

The conceptual framework of the construct has been presented at Western Psychological Association Conferenc e in April, 2008.

In March 2010, a manuscript detailing the construct and its measurement has been published by the journal of Personality and Individual Differences, an official scientific journal for the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences. This manuscript is authored by Michael Ivanov, Ph.D. and by Paul D. Werner, Ph.D., professor of psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

The current citation of this article: Ivanov, M., & Werner, P. D. Behavioral communication: Individual differences in communication style. Personality and Individual Differences (2010), doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.02.033

A second phase of the research into behavioral communication has been completed in 2012. In this study, the role of behavioral communication was explored within the context of romantic relationships and within a larger array of personality and communication variables. The report has been published as a part of the doctoral dissertation titled Perceptual Agreement: Reality and Illusion in Romantic Relationships by Michael Ivanov, Ph.D. Researchers and other interested parties are welcome to contact the author for more information.

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