Recognition of emotion in facial expressions and resident advisor effectiveness

By William A. Gentry
Center for Creative Leadership

Lauren S. Harris
University of Georgia

Stephen Nowicki
Emory University


Students who reside in residence halls have the opportunity for personal and community development by living, working, and learning together with other residents. The resident advisor (or resident assistant) serves a crucial role in establishing, facilitating, cultivating, and maintaining an environment for personal and community development for their residents. Of the responsibilities performed by resident advisors, an important responsibility is getting to know residents on an individual level by developing effective interpersonal relationships with their student advisees (St. Onge, Nestor, Peter, & Robertson, 2003). In general, to demonstrate interest in others and develop effective interpersonal relationships, people must communicate well. This is contingent on the ability to correctly interpret, recognize and understand the emotions of others (DeVito, 2001; Knapp, 1999; Nowicki & Duke, 1994). This study attempts to demonstrate the importance of identifying emotions in facial expressions in resident advisor performance because forming interpersonal relationships with student advisees is an important responsibility of resident advisors…


Gentry, William A., Harris, L., & Nowicki, S. (2009). Recognition of emotion in facial expressions and resident advisor effectiveness. The Journal of College and University Student Housing, 34(2), 61–69.

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