The Effects of Hand Gestures on Psychosocial Perception: A Preliminary Study

  • Augusto Gnisci
  • Antonio Pace
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 26)


To date a few studies have experimentally investigated the effects of hand gestures (and frequency) on psychosocial perception. A preliminary study with two experiments were conducted, in which confederates manipulated “Type” (rhythmic gestures, cohesive gestures and self-adaptors for experiment 1; rhythmic gestures, focusing gestures and dynamic gestures for experiment 2) and “Frequency” (low and high) during a face-to-face conversation with the participants. ANOVAs reveal that rhythmic gestures influence positively competence perception but negatively conversational fairness, self-adaptors increase warmth evaluation and high frequency influences positively warmth and dominance perceptions. Hand gestures appear to play a causal role in psychosocial evaluation.


Hand gestures Psychosocial perception Preliminary study Rhythmic gestures Cohesive gestures Self-adaptors Frequency 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ekman, P., Friesen, W.V.: The Repertoire of Nonverbal Behavior. Semiotica 1, 49–98 (1969)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    McNeill, D.: Hand and mind. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1992)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Maricchiolo, F., Gnisci, A., Bonaiuto, M.: Coding Hand Gestures: A Reliable Taxonomy and a Multi-media Support. In: Esposito, A., Esposito, A.M., Vinciarelli, A., Hoffmann, R., Müller, V.C. (eds.) COST 2102. LNCS, vol. 7403, pp. 405–416. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Patterson, M.L.: The evolution of theories of interactive behavior. In: Manusov, V.L., Patterson, M.L. (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Nonverbal Communication, pp. 21–39. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Abele, A.E., Wojciszke, B.: Agency and Communion from the Perspective of Self Versus Others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 93, 751–763 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fiske, S.T., Cuddy, A.J.C., Glick, P.: Universal Dimensions of Social Cognition: Warmth and Competence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11, 77–83 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Burgoon, J.K., Birk, T., Pfau, M.: Nonverbal Behaviors, Persuasion, and Credibility. Human Communication Research 17, 140–169 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mehrabian, A., Williams, M.: Nonverbal Concomitants of Perceived and Intended Persuasiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 13, 37–58 (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Carli, L.L., LaFleur, S.L., Loeber, C.C.: Nonverbal Behavior, Gender, and Influence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 68, 1030–1041 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Maricchiolo, F., Livi, S., Bonaiuto, M., Gnisci, A.: Hand Gestures and Perceived Influence in Small Group Interaction. The Spanish Journal of Psychology 14, 755–764 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Maricchiolo, F., Gnisci, A., Bonaiuto, M., Ficca, G.: Effects of Different Types of Hand Gestures in Persuasive Speech on Receivers’ Evaluations. Language and Cognitive Processes 24, 239–266 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Butterworth, B., Hadar, U.: Gesture, Speech and Computational Stage: A Reply to McNeill. Psychological Review 96, 168–174 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Henningsen, D.D., Valde, K.S., Davies, E.: Exploring the Effect of Verbal and Nonverbal Cues on Perceptions of Deception. Communication Quarterly 53, 359–375 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kendon, A.: Gestures as Illocutionary and Discourse Structure Markers in Southern Italian Conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 23, 247–279 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kendon, A.: Gesture: Visible Action as Utterance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2004)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Farley, S.D.: Attaining Status at the Expense of Likeability: Pilfering Power Through Conversational Interruption. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 32, 241–260 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    LaFrance, M.: Gender and Interruptions: Individual Infraction or Violation of the Social Order? Psychology of Women Quarterly 16, 497–512 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Robinson, L.F., Reis, H.T.: The Effects of Interruption, Gender, and Status on Interpersonal Perceptions. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 13, 141–153 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySecond University of NaplesCasertaItaly

Personalised recommendations