Nonverbal behavior of vendors in customer-vendor interaction

Academic Article


  • Two research questions were posed on the homophily theory of customer-vendor interactions: (a) do vendors show any nonverbal preference for Euro-American or African-American customers?; (b) do vendors demonstrate any nonverbal preference for customers with which they share racial homophily? The results supported the homophily theory for Euro-American customers in that there were significant interaction effects by race in facial expression (F =5.33, p<.05), amount of speaking (F = 6.76, p<.01), tone of voice (F=7.62, p<.01), and touching (F=4.57, p<.05). Vendor behavior varied when the customer was Euro-American, with Euro-American vendors smiling more frequently (M=4.05) than African-American vendors (M=3.69), speaking more frequently (M = 3.57) than African-American vendors (M = 3.09), using a more friendly tone of voice (M = 3.59, and engaging in more touching behaviors (M = 1.81) than African-American vendors (M = 1.48). There was no significant difference in the behavior of Euro-American and African-American vendors when the customer was African-American. © Perceptual and Motor Skills 2007.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Amsbary JH; Powell L
  • Start Page

  • 366
  • End Page

  • 370
  • Volume

  • 104
  • Issue

  • 2