There are numerous behaviors that fall under nonverbal involvement. Along with nonverbal behavior, another basic concept to understand is immediacy. Immediacy is generally affiliative behaviour as the degree of directness and intensity of interaction between two entities, such as two people. In 1976, Argyle and Cook modified and extended their original theory after concluding only partial support for compensation.
Many academic scholars have researched ACT. Joseph Cappella, Ira Firestone, and John Aiello are just a few scholars whose conclusions of ACT differed. The concept of compensation was first introduced and added to the theory by Larry Coutts and Frank Schneider in 1976 in their ACT article that investigated the intimacy equilibrium and compensation hypothesis. Because the intimacy equilibrium is said to be a product of several interrelated behaviors, it is not clear as to the influence of such variables on the overall equilibrium level. A balanced equilibrium is created when there is an increase in affiliative behavior, notably a decrease in avoidance.
All nonverbal behaviors contribute to maintaining balance but researchers focus mostly on three nonverbal behaviors of intimacy and their relationship, which include eye contact, physical proximity and need for affiliation. Increased eye contact and physical proximity during social interaction warrants an increase in intimacy. Eye-contact: Eye-contact can have a variety of subjective meanings such as friendship, sexual attraction, hate and struggle for dominance. During social interaction, people look each other in the eye, repeatedly but short periods. An unbalance is created when there is a decrease in affiliative behavior, notably increased avoidance, changes in one or more of the immediacy behaviors following disruptions in the established equilibrium.
If equilibrium for intimacy is disturbed along one of its dimensions, attempts will first be made to restore it by adjusting the others. If this is not possible because all are held constant, or because the deviation is too extreme, the subject will feel uncomfortable. Research shows that gender plays an important role in ACT. However, other explanations can account for the higher use of mutual gaze by females. In 1975, Russo conducted a study that focused on the eye-contact and distance relationship. Affiliative Conflict Theory: Exploration of the Notions of Intimacy Equilibrium and Behavioral Compensation». Orientation behaviors and nonverbal attitude communication».