The Science Behind Hand Gestures

Writer: Nada Elnady

Imagine with me:
You’re fighting with another person over whatever topic, and while you are gripping your fists at your sides, the other person is not only shouting, but flailing his/her arms all around and is so close to grasping you by the neck, or at least, the obvious articulation of the words he/she is saying would make you think so. 
Hand gestures can reveal a whole lot about a person more than what comes to mind. Some might view people who use hand gestures in their speech as easily triggered or can be easily angered, but that’s not the actual truth behind the story.

Hand gestures indicate so much about your personality. According to a research, “open hand gestures indicate confidence, clarity, and approachability in a person while closed hands indicate containment of sort”. People who use more hand gestures in their speech likely exhibit stronger leadership skills and a higher level of intelligence. This has been proven by studies conducted on infants, in which scientists found a strong, positive correlation between the extensive use of gestures at a younger age and language abilities expressed later on in life.

The use of hand gestures while teaching has also proved to be more effective in terms of helping students grasp the ideas more efficiently. People need to interpret both the words and the gestures to be able to understand what’s being said, which further strengthens the point that hand gesture indicate clarity. 

Hand gestures are so much more than moving your hands around while talking to try and prove a point. They not only tell us so much about your personality and intelligence, but also their usage increases your likability to your audience and enhances your learning experience.