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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Instructor Dress Influencing Student Behaviors
The Problem & Rationale
Prior research has focused on instructor dress influencing student behaviors (Chatelain, 2015; Lavin, Davies, & Carr, 2010) and as a result of this can influence the student perception of the instructor's ability. Clothing can have a major impact on one's perception of another and can signal the wrong information (Chatelain, 2015; Dunbar & Segrin, 2012; Hannover & Kühnen, 2006; Naylor, 2007; Peluchette, Karl, & Rust, 2006; Roach, 1997). The studies on clothing, likeability, approachability, credibility, and immediacy sited in the literature review does not give clear evidence that perceptions of others can be influenced by an individuals dress. Most studies dependent upon where their study lies states that there is no significance. Students need to know that the instructor ability for teaching the class is credible and the instructor is knowledgeable. When this is not present student behaviors can elicit problems for the instructor. 

The Results & Discussion
This study was designed to test hypotheses that predicted instructors dressed formal, informal, or casual will influence student behavior, and the instructor dressing formal, informal, casual will influence student perceptions of the instructor’s ability. Neither hypotheses were supported. The results were not significant. However, this study showed some indications of student perceptions on instructor abilities and student behaviors when instructor dresses casual.
Contrary to what other researchers have found citing that instructors attire does influence student behavior, this study showed there is no significance and the hypotheses was not supported. However, the findings did indicate that students’ behavior is higher when an instructor is dressed casually (casual M=21.33, SD=8.44; formal M=17.56, SD=6.13; informal M=15.55, SD=3.67). The behaviors students elicit are the result of their own actions, such as not attending class, paying more attention in class, or even participating in class. 

The hypotheses for instructor dressing formal, informal, or casual will influence student perceptions of the instructor’s ability was not supported by this research and showed there was no significance. As stated earlier these researchers (Carr, Davies, & Lavin, 2010; Gorham, Cohen, & Morris, 1999; Mosca & Buzza, 2013) in their study has shown there is no significance of instructor attire influencing student perception on instructor ability. Their claim did not support the literature review and raises concerns about other research studies. However, this study indicated that when an instructor is dressed formal the student perception of the instructor ability increased (formal M=14.44, SD=7.33; informal M=13.36, SD=2.46; casual M=12.00, SD=.00). Therefore, decreasing student behavior.

One could assume that because the instructor is dressed formal they are not approachable, and this could be the negative side of instructor ability for the student perception. Contrary to the negative, there are positive aspects of instructor’s ability which are being prepared for class, knowledgeable and the ability to present information clearly, and being credible. This positive aspect would allow student’s behavior to decrease and be more productive in class. Therefore, having a positive perception of instructor’s ability. Because the hypothesis was not supported we can only speculate these are the perceptions student’s have on the instructor ability.

Carr, D. L., Davies, T. L., & Lavin, A. M. (2010). The Impact of Instructor Attire on College Student Satisfaction. College Student Journal, 44(1), 101-111.
Chatelain, A. M. (2015). The effect of academics’ dress and gender on student perceptions of instructor approachability and likeability. Journal of Higher Education Policy & Management, 37(4), 413-423. doi:10.1080/1360080X.2015.1056598
Dunbar, N.E., & Segrin, C. (2012). Clothing and Teacher Credibility: An Application of Expectancy Violations Theory. ISRN Education, Vol 2012 (2012), doi:10.5402/2012/140517
Gorham, J., & Cohen, S. H., Morris, T. L. (1999). Fashion in the Classroom III: Effects of Instructor Attire and Immediacy in Natural Classroom... Communication Quarterly, 47(3), 281-299.
Hannover, B., & Kühnen, U. (2006). “The Clothing Makes the Self” Via Knowledge Activation1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 32. 2513 - 2525. 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2002.tb02754.x.
Lavin, A. M., Davies, T. L., & Carr, D. L. (2010). The Impact of Instructor Attire on Student Perceptions of Faculty Credibility and Their Own Resultant Behavior. American Journal of Business Education, 3(6), 51-62.
Mosca, J. B., & Buzza, J. (2013). Clothing and the Affects on a Teacher's Image: How Students View Them. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 6(1), 59-66
Peluchette, J.V., Karl, K. & Rust, K. J (2006) 21: 45. Dressing to Impress: Beliefs and Attitudes regarding Workplace Attire. Journal of Business and Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 1, 46-63,
Roach, K. D. (1997). Effects of Graduate Teaching Assistant Attire on Student Learning, Misbehaviors, and Ratings of Instruction. Communication Quarterly, 45(3), 125-141

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


This past week I decided to watch what everyone in our department wore to work. One day I wore a green sweater that was somewhat provocative. The neckline had a plunge and a collar that looked like a choker. The next day I wore a pink sweater and it had tie-up, similar to shoestrings.  Both days I wore jeans and black shoes. My hair was not put together the first day and the second day my hair was pulled back into a pony tail.  I received more compliments on the provocative sweater with frumpy hair then I did wearing the pink sweater. 

Colors were vibrant on some days and other days it seemed like the whole department got the memo on what color to wear. What I have noticed some of us dress casual and others dress business casual. We all dress businesslike when we put on workshops or go to conferences. What this tells me is that we are comfortable at how we dress in the workplace. However, our dress does not say that we are not competent at what we do.  In our office everyone has a job to do and we do it quite well. 

Business dress                                               Casual dress

After reading the article I found that the codes of yesterday are still around today on campus in different departments, especially in corporate America.


Kaiser, S. B., (2008).  Women’s Appearance and Clothing within Organizations. In L.K. Guerrero & M. L. Hecht (Eds.), The Nonverbal Communication Reader, (pp. 74-81). Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Article Critique

Effects of Teacher’s Styles of Dress on Student Learning

In today's society the way we dress tends to have some effect on many individuals including those students attending college. My research will be about the effect an instructors' dress has on student learning. What I have found in this article critique is there is little evidence that an instructor's dress has a effect on student learning. I also believe that if Rollman's analysis did not isolate one variable he would have received better data to support his research questions. This is an area where instructors are at opposing viewpoints and students are questioning. I feel that this study is important not only for students, but also for the instructor as well. Rollman's research, although flawed, has shown there needs to be more research in this area.

Rollman, S. A. (1980). Some Effects of Instructors' Styles of Dress.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Interaction with Greetings 


Conference in Ann Arbor for patients with Sarcoidosis. The interaction I saw were those of hugging, handshakes, and passing out of business cards. Some of the patients knew each other through Facebook and that prompted a hug as a way of saying finally we meet. 

  • Brisk handshakes - during introductions and passing out of business cards
  • Hugs - friendly greetings
  • Pat on the backs (letting someone know they are there) a way of not interrupting the conversation
  • Rubbing of the back (letting someone know they are there) a way of not interrupting the conversation

One interesting thing happened is when I gave my business card to someone looking to be in a support group. She acknowledge the card and said thank you. As I was turning away I noticed another women approaching the person I had just gave my card to. She took my card from the individual and wrote her information on the of it, but before she did that she asked me for an ink pen.

After reading the section in the book about business cards used in introductions I thought how rude and inappropriate the woman was who wrote her information on the back of my card. The Japanese have a tradition of presenting the business card to the individual with the lettering face up. As they are doing that they are also bowing to the individual. It was also stated that it is rude to put the card in your pocket, write on it, or any other defaming as this is a way of attacking the individual identity (Axtell, p. 109). I felt like my identity was attacked when another person wrote their information on the back of my card. 

America is a melting pot of cultures, we take a bit of every culture and make it our own. I think that people should pay more attention to their actions and gestures when interacting with another person. We never know who we will offend. 

Axtell, R.E, Initiating Interaction: Greetings and Beckonings across the World, Chapter 12. The Nonverbal Communication Reader, 3rd ed., pgs. 109-118, Waveland Press, Inc., Long Grove, Illinois. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Communicating with Touch
September 20


This week I took my family to the IPFW Family Picnic. What I had set out to do was see how many couples touched in public. What I did find is a lot of touching between parents and their children. Types of touches I witnessed were the following:
  • Children playing with their parents hair- loving
  • Dad patting daughter on back - saying hello
  • Dad rubbing baby's back - soothing
  • Daughter hugs onto to dad, one arm around his neck the other interlocked in his arm - being playful
  • Brother and sister hugging each other as they walk out the door - ecstatic
Each of these touches from my perspective were very appropriate and communicating intimacy between each other. My concern is that no parent interacted with each other or displayed any kind of affection to one another. I felt like that was a red flag and that something must be wrong or either it was because they do not show affection in front of their children in public. As we were leaving the picnic we finally saw one couple holding hands and this couple had no children with them. 

Just an added note:
Another interesting thing happened. A lady wanted to hold my infant granddaughter. She put out her hand and so did my granddaughter and just as the lady was about to take hold of granddaughter she rejected the lady by pulling her hand back.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

    👀Interpersonal Deception Theory👀

Student came into the office and wanted to borrow a pen for his class. My eyes perked up. The student looked at me as if I was going to say something insane to him (I was thinking it). He had the surprised look on his face. Maybe my presence made him nervous. We conversed for a bit. He stated his class was just down the hall and he needed to borrow a pen. He stated I will bring it back. However, just as I was getting ready to say “are you sure” he stated “I promise I will bring the pen back”. I gave him the pen and he hurried quickly out of the office. Of course I did not believe him. Students in the past have stated they would return the pen/pencil back. Unfortunately I had to leave the office, but when I returned the pen was sitting on my counter. That put a smile on my face. 😃

The role of this code was to see if I was being deceived, to detect through body language, voice tone, and facial expression. Watching his movements and his truly wide-eyed look, I came to the conclusion he would most likely return the pen because he was clearly and visably nervous. This encounter was brief, but my perception of  the student was solely based upon my past experiences The facial expression, body language, and the tone in his voice he showed me was very clear. As my grandmother always said "you can't judge a book by it's cover".

  • What I had to look for was familiarity (informational, behavioral, or relational) 
  • I had to check for Strategic behavior (intentional) or nonstrategic behavior (unintentional) 
  • Last thing I needed to do was access the situation - (was my sender believable)

1. What I have learned is that although this kind of thing happened several times before, I should not have judged the student
2. Just because a person is nervous does not mean they are lying
3. I actually thought I had the upper hand, because I just knew he was not going to return the pen
4. He got the better of me because he did return the pen
5. I realized I needed a sign up: