07 August 2010

What Is Prez Obama Really Thinking? Watch His Hands As He Talks

*** Our body language reveals much about our thoughts, telegraphing it to others if only we learn the language and how to read it.

President Obama's hand gestures

From Denny: Are you right or left hand dominant? President Obama is left hand dominant and when he wants to discuss his favorite things he favors using his left hand to gesture.

Left hand dominant people studied

Scientists have studied the left-hand dominant like the President. Researchers discovered that left-handers tend to favor their left hand when discussing any subject of which they feel positive. Left-handers use their right hand to gesture when they feel negative about a subject. Are you a right-hand dominant? Then the results are the opposite: you use your right hand to gesture when you feel positive and your left hand when you feel negative.

Researchers studied last two presidential election candidates

This study was published in PloS ONE. Scientists studied tapes from the final American presidential debates from 2004 and 2008. They were wondering if they could spot a right or left hand bias gesture from the candidates. A curious fact here: in the 2004 election both candidates were right hand dominant. In the 2008 election both candidates were left hand dominant.

We talk with our hands

You know what they say, "Americans talk with their hands, especially politicians - and angry women." Politicians unconsciously telegraphed their true feelings by use of their hand gestures. An interesting observation from this study about candidate Obama was that when he spoke about health care passionately he used his left hand to gesture, indicating he felt positive about the subject. When talking about the Iraq War he gestured with his right hand, indicating he felt negative about the subject.

President George Bush is right hand dominant. When he felt positive about a subject he favored his right hand. When he felt negative about a subject he favored his left hand.

Positive associations with our dominant hand, negative with our less dominant hand

What's funny about this study is that it also revealed that people tend to have negative or positive associations with which hand is dominant. If you are right-hand dominant you are more inclined to believe things on the right are "good," while anything oriented to the left like people or images are "bad." With left-hand dominant people the opposite is true.

Amusing findings from volunteer study

Here's what was really amusing during the study. The study volunteers were shown a drawing. In this drawing was a group of space aliens sitting side by side. The perception reached? Those who were right hand dominant concluded that those aliens on the right end of the picture were supposedly smarter, happier, more honest and more attractive than the aliens on the left side of the picture. Left hand dominant folks preferred the aliens on the left side of the picture, viewing them in the same positive light.

"Overall, the data support the idea that people associate good things with the side of the body they can use most fluently – dominant is fluent, and fluent is good," says the study’s lead author Daniel Casasanto of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

"It’s a good example of how our bodies influence the way we think without our ever knowing anything about it," says Diane Halpern, a professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College.

Body language observation a handy quick lie detector

Talk about an easy quick and handy lie detector. Think of all the situations it could be used: political campaigns, a cheating spouse or your boss. The next time you get an evaluation at work, pay very close attention to their hand gestures to know their true feelings. And as far as knowing for whom to vote, well, that should be obvious now that you know their true feelings.

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