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A Meta-Analytical Review of the Relationship between Teacher Immediacy and Student Learning
Unformatted Document Text:  Immediacy and Learning Meta-Analysis 2 A Meta-Analytical Review of the Relationship between Teacher Immediacy and Student Learning In the research area of instructional communication, no other construct has received more attention, or sparked more controversy during recent years, than that of teacher immediacy. The concept of immediacy was first developed by the social psychologist Albert Mehrabian, who conceptualized immediacy as those communication behaviors that "enhance closeness to and nonverbal interaction with another" (Mehrabian, 1969, p. 203). Grounding the concept in approach-avoidance theory, Mehrabian suggested that "people approach what they like and avoid what they don’t like" (Mehrabian, 1981, p. 22), and he identified sets of verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors that contribute to reducing the perceived physical or psychological distance between communicators (Mehrabian, 1969, 1971; Wiener & Mehrabian, 1968). Findings from some early nonverbal communication studies implied that immediacy-type behaviors might have some general effects in the teaching-learning context (e.g., Breed, 1971; Kleinfeld, 1973; Woolfolk, 1978). In her doctoral dissertation, Andersen (1978) examined the relationship between the nonverbal immediacy behaviors of teachers and learning outcomes of their students. This study provided the basis for the first publication of immediacy and learning research (Andersen, 1979) and engendered systematic investigation of teacher immediacy and student learning outcomes. The present meta-analysis begins with this seminal work and examines the findings of 80 studies that followed over the next 23 years, through the end of 2001. The review and analysis focus on studies of verbal and/or nonverbal immediacy of teachers in relation to students’ affective, cognitive, and perceived learning outcomes.

Authors: Witt, Paul., Wheeless, Lawrence. and Allen, Mike.
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Immediacy and Learning Meta-Analysis 2
A Meta-Analytical Review of the Relationship between
Teacher Immediacy and Student Learning
In the research area of instructional communication, no other construct has received more
attention, or sparked more controversy during recent years, than that of teacher immediacy. The
concept of immediacy was first developed by the social psychologist Albert Mehrabian, who
conceptualized immediacy as those communication behaviors that "enhance closeness to and
nonverbal interaction with another" (Mehrabian, 1969, p. 203). Grounding the concept in
approach-avoidance theory, Mehrabian suggested that "people approach what they like and avoid
what they don’t like" (Mehrabian, 1981, p. 22), and he identified sets of verbal and nonverbal
communication behaviors that contribute to reducing the perceived physical or psychological
distance between communicators (Mehrabian, 1969, 1971; Wiener & Mehrabian, 1968).
Findings from some early nonverbal communication studies implied that immediacy-type
behaviors might have some general effects in the teaching-learning context (e.g., Breed, 1971;
Kleinfeld, 1973; Woolfolk, 1978). In her doctoral dissertation, Andersen (1978) examined the
relationship between the nonverbal immediacy behaviors of teachers and learning outcomes of
their students. This study provided the basis for the first publication of immediacy and learning
research (Andersen, 1979) and engendered systematic investigation of teacher immediacy and
student learning outcomes. The present meta-analysis begins with this seminal work and
examines the findings of 80 studies that followed over the next 23 years, through the end of
2001. The review and analysis focus on studies of verbal and/or nonverbal immediacy of
teachers in relation to students’ affective, cognitive, and perceived learning outcomes.


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