Research investigating the influence and character of nonverbal leader displays has been carried out in a systematic fashion since the early 1980s, yielding growing insight into how viewers respond to the televised facial display behavior of politicians. This article reviews the major streams of research in this area by considering the key ethological frameworks for understanding dominance relationships between leaders and followers and the role nonverbal communication plays in politics and social organization. The analysis focuses on key categories of facial display behavior by examining an extended selection of published experimental studies considering the influence of nonverbal leader behavior on observers, the nature of stimuli shown to research participants, range of measures employed, and make-up of participant pools. We conclude with suggestions for future research.
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Vol. 28 • No. 1