The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effects of Nonverbal Reinforcement on Questionnaire Responses


Melanie Goldman


The present study was designed to examine whether nonverbal reinforcement through nodding and smiling could alter or cause people to change their answers in an interviewed questionnaire. It also examined whether this effect would be stronger for males than females. The study involved twenty undergraduate university students attending Huron College at the University of Western Ontario. Ten were males and ten were female. The participants were interviewed with a questionnaire containing 25 yes or no answer questions related to study habits and attitudes towards school. For example, questions like "Do you feel you are generally a good student." Participants were also informed that the experimenter might be attempting to influence their answers. Each interview was administered to the participants individually. Results did not support the original hypothesis. There was no significant difference between the control and experimental group. Males were also not affected any more than females. Limitations as well as ideas for further research are discussed.

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