Project Information

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

Project Information

Project Title
"Strangely familiar: How nonverbal cues from others elicit transference and attachment processes"

University of Groningen - Social and Organizational Psychology

PhD Student
Judith Rachl

Prof.dr. N.W. van Yperen, University of Groningen
Dr. N. Pontus Leander, University of Groningen

1 September 2011 - 1 September 2015

Other sources: personal resources


Psychologists have long been fascinated by the ways in which we form and maintain social bonds, but several questions remain about what is needed for an effective interaction and why we develop mysterious feelings of attachment with some people and not others. Nonverbal cues may have special meaning in this process—their presence or absence could shape relationship formation and development. Despite their potentially fundamental role, nonverbal cues often go unnoticed in social interactions and people may not always realize their influence. This means that people may also not be consciously aware of how nonverbal cues affect their everyday cognitions and subjective experiences. For instance, recent research on embodiment suggests that very meaningful affective experiences may be linked to certain nonverbal behaviors, such that experiencing the subjective state heightens the nonverbal behavior—and potentially even the reverse. Indeed, such feelings as clicking, luck, serendipity, bliss, and even a broader sense of trust in organizations may stem from people’s nonconscious exposure to nonverbal cues from others.

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