Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations


Public Relations & Advertising


Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts


FitzGerald, Suzanne Sparks


Educators; Nonverbal communication in education


Public Relations and Advertising


This study shows nonverbal behaviors adult students recognize as those leaders in classrooms use to convey their position of leadership.

The field of Public Relations is involved with clear, truthful two-way communication between senders and receivers of messages. It is desirable that all communication exchanges be complete with positive understanding of messages, especially those where one represents others with messages s/he delivers.

Existing research was reviewed to determine nonverbal behaviors leaders use in the five areas studied. A questionnaire was designed and administered to a non-probability quota sample. Semantic differential scales determined attitudes and beliefs students had about nonverbal communication leaders use.

Next, students from Bucks County Office of Employment and Training observed the same nonverbal communication areas surveyed with the sample. They entered results on a questionnaire like the one administered to the sample, except that person-specific language was used.

Major findings indicate that eye contact is the most expected nonverbal behavior from leaders and was also the most frequently observed behavior. Additionally, findings indicate that leaders are expected to be well groomed and attractive and students observed that they were.