Volume 15, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1568-1475
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9773
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Does being instructed to gesture encourage those with low gesture rates to produce more gestures? If participants do gesture more when asked to, do they produce the same kinds of gestures? Does this vary as a function of the type of discourse being produced? We asked participants to take part in three tasks, a quasi-conversational task, a spatial problem solving task, and a narrative task, in two phases. In the first they received no instruction, and in the second they were asked to gesture. The instruction to gesture did not change gesture rate or gesture type across phases. We suggest that while explicitly asking participants to gesture may not always achieve higher gesture rates, it also does not negatively impact natural behavior.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Alibali, Martha W
    (2005) Gesture in spatial cognition: Expressing, communicating, and thinking about spatial information. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 5 (4), 307–331. doi: 10.1207/s15427633scc0504_2
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15427633scc0504_2 [Google Scholar]
  2. Beilock, Sian & Susan Goldin-Meadow
    (2010) Gesture changes thought by grounding it in action. Psychological Science, 21 (11), 1605–1610. doi: 10.1177/0956797610385353
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610385353 [Google Scholar]
  3. Broaders, Sara C. , Susan W. Cook , Zachary Mitchell , & Susan Goldin-Meadow
    (2007) Making children gesture brings out implicit knowledge and leads to learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136 (4), 539–550. doi: 10.1037/0096‑3445.136.4.539
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.136.4.539 [Google Scholar]
  4. Campbell, Anne & J. Phillipe Rushton
    (1978) Bodily communication and personality. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 17, 31–36. doi: 10.1111/j.2044‑8260.1978.tb00893.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8260.1978.tb00893.x [Google Scholar]
  5. Chu, Mingyuan & Sotaro Kita
    (2011) The nature of gestures’ beneficial role in spatial problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 140 (1), 102–116. doi: 10.1037/a0021790
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021790 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cook, Susan W. , Terina K. Yip , & Susan Goldin-Meadow
    (2010) Gesturing makes memories that last. Journal of Memory & Language, 63, 465–475. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2010.07.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2010.07.002 [Google Scholar]
  7. Costa, Paul T. Jr. , Antonio Terracciano , & Robert R. McCrae
    (2001) Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: Robust and surprising findings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81 (2), 322–331. doi: 10.1037//0022‑3514.81.2.322
    https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.81.2.322 [Google Scholar]
  8. Crasborn, Onno & Han Sloetjes
    (2008) Enhanced ELAN functionality for sign language corpora. In Onno Crasborn , Thomas Hanke , Eleni Efthimiou , Inge Zwitserlood , & Ernst Thoutenhoofd (Eds.), Construction and exploitation of sign language corpora: 3rd workshop on the representation and processing of sign languages (pp.39–43). Paris: ELDA.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Freleng, Isadore D
    . (Director) (1946) Baseball bugs [Television series episode]. Warner Brothers.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Goldin-Meadow, Susan , Susan C. Levine , Elena Zinchenko , Terina K.Y. Yip , Naureen Hemani , & Laiah Factor
    (2012) Doing gesture promotes learning a mental transformation task better than seeing gesture. Developmental Science, 15 (6), 876–884. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑7687.2012.01185.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01185.x [Google Scholar]
  11. Hall, Judith
    (2001) Status, gender, and nonverbal behavior in candid and posed photographs: A study of conversations between university employees. Sex Roles, 44 (11/12), 677–692. doi: 10.1023/A:1012298230455
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012298230455 [Google Scholar]
  12. (2006) Nonverbal behavior, status, and gender: How do we understand their relations. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 384–391. doi: 10.1111/j.1471‑6402.2006.00313.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00313.x [Google Scholar]
  13. Hall, Judith & Gregory B. Friedman
    (1999) Status, gender, and nonverbal behavior: A study of structured interactions between employees of a company. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25 (9), 1082–1091. doi: 10.1177/01461672992512002
    https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672992512002 [Google Scholar]
  14. Hall, Judith & Frank J. Bernieri
    (2001) Interpersonal sensitivity: Theory and measurement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Helweg-Larsen, Marie , Stephanie J. Cunningham , Amanda Carrico , & Alison Pergram
    (2004) To nod or not to nod: An observational study of nonverbal communication and status in female and male college students. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 358–361. doi: 10.1111/j.1471‑6402.2004.00152.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.2004.00152.x [Google Scholar]
  16. Henley, Nancy M
    (1977) Body politics: Power, sex and nonverbal communication. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Hostetter, Autumn B. , Kirsten Bieda , Martha W. Alibali , Mitchell Nathan , & Eric J. Knuth
    (2006) Don’t just tell them, show them! Teachers can intentionally alter their instructional gestures. In Ron Sun (Ed.), Proceedings of the 28th annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp.1523–1528). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hostetter, Autumn B. & Martha W. Alibali
    (2007) Raise your hand if you’re spatial: Relations between verbal and spatial skills and gesture production. Gesture, 7 (1), 73–95. doi: 10.1075/gest.7.1.05hos
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gest.7.1.05hos [Google Scholar]
  19. Hostetter, Autumn B. & Andrea L. Potthoff
    (2012) Effects of personality and social situation on representational gesture production. Gesture, 12 (1), 62–83. doi: 10.1075/gest.12.1.04hos
    https://doi.org/10.1075/gest.12.1.04hos [Google Scholar]
  20. Jones, Chuck
    (Director) (1949) Fast and furrious [Television series episode]. Warner Brothers.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. (Director) (1949) For scent-imental reasons [Television series episode]. Warner Brothers.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. (Director) (1949) Feed the kitty [Television series episode]. Warner Brothers.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Macedonia, Manuela & Katharina von Kriegstein
    (2012) Gestures enhance foreign language learning. Biolinguistics, 6(3/4), 393–416.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. McNeill, David
    (1992) Hand and mind: What gestures reveal about thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Parrill, Fey
    (2010) Viewpoint in speech-gesture integration: Linguistic structure, discourse structure, and event structure. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25 (5), 650–668. doi: 10.1080/01690960903424248
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690960903424248 [Google Scholar]
  26. Pika, Simone , Elena Nicoladis , & Paula Marentette
    (2006) A cross-cultural study on the use of gestures: Evidence for cross-linguistic transfer?Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9 (3), 319–327. doi: 10.1017/S1366728906002665
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728906002665 [Google Scholar]
  27. So, Wing Chee
    (2010) Cross-cultural transfer in gesture frequency in Chinese-English bilinguals. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25 (10), 1335–1353. doi: 10.1080/01690961003694268
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690961003694268 [Google Scholar]
  28. Stevanoni, Elizabeth & Karen Salmon
    (2005) Giving memory a hand: Instructing children to gesture enhances their recall. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 29 (4), 217–233. doi: 10.1007/s10919‑005‑7721‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-005-7721-y [Google Scholar]
  29. van Anders, Sari M
    (2013) Beyond masculinity: Testosterone, gender/sex, and human social behavior in a comparative context. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 34, 198–210. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2013.07.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yfrne.2013.07.001 [Google Scholar]
  30. Vandenberg, Steven G. & Allan R. Kuse
    (1978) Mental rotation, a group test of 3-D spatial visualization. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 47, 599–604. doi: 10.2466/pms.1978.47.2.599
    https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.1978.47.2.599 [Google Scholar]
  31. Wartenburger, Isabell , Esther Kühn , Uta Sassenberg , Manja Foth , Elizabeth A. Franz , & Elke van der Meer
    (2010) On the relationship between fluid intelligence, gesture production, and brain structure. Intelligence, 38, 193–201. doi: 10.1016/j.intell.2009.11.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2009.11.001 [Google Scholar]
  32. Willems, Roel , Aslı Özyürek , & Peter Hagoort
    (2006) When language meets action: The neural integration of gesture and speech. Cerebral Cortex, 17 (10), 2322–2333. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhl141
    https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhl141 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): gesture rate; instructed to gesture; methodology
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error