Can you trust a customer's expression? Insights into nonverbal communication in the retail context

Nancy M. Puccinelli, Scott Motyka, Dhruv Grewal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Synthesizing knowledge from psychology and marketing research, an understanding of nonverbal communication can help address when and how customers express their underlying feelings in retail interactions that are not evident in direct verbal expressions. Examining nonverbal behavior as an indirect measure of consumer response can enable retailers to better understand the needs of their customers. Nonverbal communication theory is used to develop a conceptual framework that builds on prior research on the situation, expressivity, social status, display rules, and their effects on customer expression. Lay wisdom suggests that customer expression should be revealing (e.g., "the eyes are the windows to the soul"). However, research reveals a myriad of situational factors that may lead customers to mask their true feelings. This paper offers nine theoretical propositions and summarizes research evidence related to these pro-positions from various substantive domains for marketing research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-988
Number of pages25
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Volume27
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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Nonverbal Communication
Research
Marketing
Emotions
Masks
Retail
Nonverbal communication
Psychology

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Can you trust a customer's expression? Insights into nonverbal communication in the retail context. / Puccinelli, Nancy M.; Motyka, Scott; Grewal, Dhruv.

In: Psychology and Marketing, Vol. 27, No. 10, 10.2010, p. 964-988.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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