The Body Action and Posture coding system (BAP) : Development and reliability

Dael, N., Mortillaro, M., & Scherer, K. R. (2012). The Body Action and Posture coding system (BAP): Development and reliability. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 36, 97-121.



Several methods are available for coding body movement in nonverbal behavior research, but there is no consensus on a reliable coding system that can be used for the study of emotion expression. Adopting an integrative approach, we developed a new method, the Body Action and Posture (BAP) coding system, for the time-aligned micro description of body movement on an anatomical level (different articulations of body parts), a form level (direction and orientation of movement), and a functional level (communicative and self-regulatory functions). We applied the system to a new corpus of acted emotion portrayals, examined its comprehensiveness and demonstrated inter-coder reliability at three levels: a) occurrence, b) temporal precision and c) segmentation. We discuss issues for further validation and propose some research applications.




Three documents can be downloaded from this webpage.

First, a document that reports a detailed overview of the reliability results of all elementary and pooled variables of the BAP coding system: Dael et al 2012 - Supp Material - BAP variables and reliability.pdf

Second, the Manual of the BAP coding scheme. It is a hierarchically structured collection of HTML browsable pages. It includes behavior definitions and response options, which are binary (presence or absence) or categorical (select from a fixed list): Dael et al 2012 - BAP

Third, the manual is accompanied by a written document stating additional coding guidelines: Dael et al 2012 - BAP Coding guidelines.pdf


To obtain the xml BAP coding scheme please refer to this page.