Let’s start with a truthdrop that actually isn’t one, instead has been comprehensively debunked many times, but still, it persists. Chances are high you’ve heard at least one “expert” quoting the famous Albert Mehrabian study and suggesting that words account for 7 percent, tone of voice accounts for 38 percent, and body language accounts for 55 percent. Countless experts use this study to prove that it is not so much about what you say (verbally), but instead about the non-verbal signals you send. However, the focus of this study was on some very specific areas of communication and does not stand up to real-world conditions. Unless someone is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable. In addition, Albert Mehrabian proofed only when verbal and non-verbal messaging are in conflict, we believe the non-verbal every time.
REMEMBER: In order to be perceived as an expert, you MUST fact check the information you share and ensure that all the information is accurate. Make sure to never cite information from an unreliable source, instead verify information with other sources and with a background check of their primary source. Just because a fact has been used often and by many doesn’t mean it’s true. Instead, ask yourself
- Can you find the original source of the study?
- Do I only have access to an abstract of the study or the actual entire study?
- Why and how was the study undertaken?
- Who conducted and who funded the study?
- How precise is the study and how was the data of the study collected?
- Does the study include factual, evidence-based claims?
- Were the environment and circumstances of the study similar to the point I’m trying to make?
By the way, same is true for research related to first impressions. Many experts in this space use just one source of information as proof for their statements. However, there is a variety of studies out there that all investigate different perspectives though come to similar results.