Body Language Mistakes Managers Make And Why Should You Quote Research On Body Language

Yesterday, I did an interview with Forbes Magazine about body language mistakes. The Journalist mentioned that other body language experts were quoting the same research over and over on space differences and I hadn't done that. I asked if they were quoting Edward Hall research that gives the space delineations of 0 to 14 inches for intimate space and so on. She said yes. I said, well there is a general tendency to stay in certain zones of space, but there were so many caveats based on culture, gender, age and exposure to technology. I didn't share with her that Anthropologist Edward Hall's original research was done in the fifties and even then the research stated that there were difference's based on culture. You need to know the research on body language and how it works in everyday life.

Today, someone asked me if I thought there was a trend to quote research to support your thoughts. There is always a need to support your observations with solid research. Here is how and why I continue to study the current research in nonverbal communication and I analyze how or if it applies to everyday life. Every night at dinner when I was in fifth grade all the way through High School and college my father was first attending grad school then a college professor in accounting. Whenever I would make a point or share a fact at the dinner table my father would say, "Where did you hear that?", "What is your source?","Why do you think that is true" or just play devil's advocate so I would learn to cite my source and know how the information was created. If it was based on research I knew how many subjects were in the research study. If it was quoted in Time magazine I knew the political leanings of that publication. It prepared me for my masters then my Doctoral coursework, where every statement you make in a paper or in the class has to be supported by research and you need to know every detail of the research study you are quoting.
As far as Deception Detection Research goes, there was very little research in academic research. Paul Eckman, was quoted quite a bit. Now there is so much information. Quite a bit of the research is done in academic settings where there is little real cost if you lie. When you lie in real life there needs to be stress or clear punishment, say loss or threat to a job or relationship for normal stress cues to show and college students who are used as subjects for most studies are not always the most accurate representation of population. I have several blog entries on deception if you search for deception or lying on my blog and a few long articles on my website where I quote some of the strongest findings.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at