Across two studies, we investigated nonverbal behaviors perceived to precede imminent interpersonal violence. Study 1 identified the six-factor structure of the Nonverbal Cues of Interpersonal Violence (NCIV) and also examined differences in perceptions of imminent interpersonal violence between law enforcement and laypersons. Study 2 confirmed the six-factor structure of the NCIV. Findings suggest that the behaviors most likely to be perceived to precede imminent interpersonal violence are related to the fight or flight response, an acute stress response that elicits physiological reactions such as increased heart rate, sweating, and face flushing. Understanding the visible behaviors perceived to be associated with the fight or flight response could enable one to predict another person’s course of action. Findings suggest the need for additional research to investigate to what extent the factor structure of the NCIV could reliably predict imminent interpersonal violence.

Dawn M. Sweet, Rebecca G. Burzette
Criminal Justice and Behavior, January 20, 2018