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The Mehrabian Myth - another persistent myth

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 25 April 2017



The Mehrabian Myth - another persistent myth
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 202
Posted DateTuesday 25 April 2017 15:59 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

Recently, I pointed out that although the Hawthorne Effect was real - the research that it was based on was flawed - yet we still call it the Hawthorne Effect. So in some ways it is a bit of a myth.

Here is another persistent myth - the Mehrabian Myth.

I would be surprised if you have not heard the statement, often in a training course or at a conference that when we communicate:
  • 55% of the message is conveyed by our body language
  • 38% is conveyed by the tone of our voice
  • and only 7% is conveyed by our actual words
Well, it's just NOT true. It is a misinterpretation of some research conducted by Albert Mehrabian in 1967.

The research is discussed at length here but this little video from Creativity Works explains it concisely

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
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