Selling the story: Narratives and charisma in adults with TBI
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OBJECTIVE: To examine storytelling performance behaviours in adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and relate these behaviours to perceived charisma and desirability as a conversation partner. DESIGN AND METHODS: Seven adult males with traumatic brain injury (TBI) told their accident narratives to a male confederate. Ten male undergraduate students rated 1-minute video clips from the beginning of each narrative using the Charismatic Leadership Communication Scale (CLCS). Raters also indicated whether or not they would like to engage in conversation with each participant. RESULTS: Of the performative behaviours analysed, gestures alone significantly influenced CLCS ratings and reported likelihood of engaging in future conversation with the participant. Post-hoc analysis revealed that speech rate was significantly correlated with all of the preceding measures. There was a significant correlation between self- and other-ratings of charisma. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that aspects of non-verbal performance, namely gesture use and speech rate, influence how charismatic an individual is perceived to be and how likely someone is to engage in conversation with that person. Variability in these performance behaviours may contribute to the variation in social outcomes seen in the TBI population.
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