Body Language and Eye Contact, What kind does your eye contact say?

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

High-Testosterone People Feel Rewarded By Others' Anger

High-Testosterone People Feel Rewarded By Others' Anger, New Study Finds
ScienceDaily (May 12, 2007) — Most people don't appreciate an angry look, but a new University of Michigan psychology study found that some people find angry expressions so rewarding that they will readily learn ways to encourage them.


•"It's kind of striking that an angry facial expression is consciously valued as a very negative signal by almost everyone, yet at a non-conscious level can be like a tasty morsel that some people will vigorously work for," said Oliver Schultheiss, co-author of the study and a U-M associate professor of psychology.

The findings may explain why some people like to tease each other so much, he added. "Perhaps teasers are reinforced by that fleeting 'annoyed look' on someone else's face and therefore will continue to heckle that person to get that look again and again," he said. "As long as it does not stay there for long, it's not perceived as a threat, but as a reward."

The researchers took saliva samples from participants to measure testosterone, a hormone that has been associated with dominance motivation.

Participants then worked on a "learning task" in which one complex sequence of keypresses was followed by an angry face on the screen, another sequence was followed by a neutral face, and a third sequence was followed by no face.

Participants who were high in testosterone relative to other members of their sex learned the sequence that was followed by an angry face better than the other sequences, while participants low in testosterone did not show this learning advantage for sequences that were reinforced by an angry face.

Notably, this effect emerged more strongly in response to faces that were presented subliminally, that is, too fast to allow conscious identification. Perhaps just as noteworthy, participants were not aware of the patterns in the sequences of keypresses as they learned them.

While high-testosterone participants showed better learning in response to anger faces, they were unaware of the fact that they learned anything in the first place and unaware of what kind of faces had reinforced their learning.

Michelle Wirth, the lead author of the study and now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, added: "Better learning of a task associated with anger faces indicates that the anger faces were rewarding, as in a rat that learns to press a lever in order to receive a tasty treat. In that sense, anger faces seemed to be rewarding for high-testosterone people, but aversive for low-testosterone people."
She said the findings contribute to a body of research suggesting that perceived emotional facial expressions are important signals to help guide human behavior, even if people are not aware that they do so.

"The human brain may have built-in mechanisms to detect and respond to emotions perceived in others," she said. "However, what an emotional facial expression, such as anger, 'means' to a given individual—whether it is something to pursue or avoid, for example—can vary."

U-M psychology researchers Michelle Wirth and Schultheiss, the authors of the study, published their findings in the journal Physiology and Behavior.




Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Do Angry Men Get More Attention? Anger And First Impressions

Do Angry Men Get Noticed?
Science Daily (June 7, 2006) — By comparing how quickly human facial expressions of different types are detected in a crowd of neutral faces, researchers have demonstrated that male angry faces are a priority for visual processing -- particularly for male observers. The findings are reported by Mark Williams of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jason Mattingley of the University of Melbourne, Australia, and appear in the June 6th issue of Current Biology.

In evolutionary terms, it makes sense that our attention is attracted by threat in the environment. It has long been hypothesized that facial expressions that signal potential threat, such as anger, may capture attention and therefore "stand out" in a crowd. In fact, there are specific brain regions that are dedicated to processing threatening facial expressions. Given the many differences between males and females, with males being larger and more physically aggressive than females, one might also suspect differences in the way in which threat is detected from individuals of different genders.

In the new work, Williams and Mattingley show that angry male faces are found more rapidly than angry female faces by both men and women. In addition, men find angry faces of both genders faster than women, whereas women find socially relevant expressions (for example, happy or sad) more rapidly. The work suggests that although males are biased toward detecting threatening faces, and females are more attuned to socially relevant expressions, both sexes prioritize the detection of angry male faces; in short, angry men get noticed. The advantage for detecting angry male faces is consistent with the notion that human perceptual processes have been shaped by evolutionary pressures arising from the social environment.

Reference: Mark A. Williams of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts and University of Melbourne in Parkville,Victoria, Australia; Jason B. Mattingley of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Williams et al.: "Correspondence: Do angry men get noticed?" Publishing in Current Biology 16, R402-404, June 6, 2006. www.current-biology.com


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

If You Have Internet Access In Your Home You Are More Likely To Be In A Relationship

Internet Access at Home Increases the Likelihood That Adults Will Be in Relationships, Study Finds
Science Daily (Aug. 19, 2010) — Adults who have Internet access at home are much more likely to be in romantic relationships than adults without Internet access, according to research to be presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

"Although prior research on the social impacts of Internet use has been rather ambiguous about the social cost of time spent online, our research suggests that Internet access has an important role to play in helping Americans find mates," said Michael J. Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University and the lead author of the study, "Meeting Online: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary."

According to the study, 82.2 percent of participants who had Internet access at home also had a spouse or romantic partner, compared to a 62.8-percent partnership rate for adults who did not have Internet access. The paper uses data from Wave I of the How Couples Meet and Stay Together (HCMST) survey, a nationally representative survey of 4,002 adults, of whom 3,009 had a spouse or romantic partner.

In addition to finding that people are more likely to be in romantic relationships if they have Internet access in their homes, Rosenfeld and study co-author Reuben J. Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology at the City University of New York, found that the Internet is the one social arena that is unambiguously gaining importance over time as a place where couples meet.

"With the meteoric rise of the Internet as a way couples have met in the past few years, and the concomitant recent decline in the central role of friends, it is possible that in the next several years the Internet could eclipse friends as the most influential way Americans meet their romantic partners, displacing friends out of the top position for the first time since the early 1940s," Rosenfeld said.

The study also found that the Internet is especially important for finding potential partners in groups where the supply is small or difficult to identify such as in the gay, lesbian, and middle-aged heterosexual communities.

Among couples who met within two years of the HCMST Wave I survey in the winter of 2009, 61 percent of same-sex couples and 21.5 percent of heterosexual couples met online.

"Couples who meet online are much more likely to be same-sex couples, and somewhat more likely to be from different religious backgrounds," Rosenfeld said. "The Internet is not simply a new and more efficient way to keep in touch with our existing networks; rather the Internet is a new kind of social intermediary that may reshape the kinds of partners and relationships we have."




Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

People Who Lie On Online Dating Services Likely Are People-Pleasers Who Want To Present Themselves In The Most Favorable Light To Get Someone To Like

Online Daters Behave Similarly to Those Who Meet Face-to-Face, Researcher Says
ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2010) — People who lie on online dating services likely are people-pleasers who want to present themselves in the most favorable light to get someone to like them -- just as they would in face-to-face dating, according to a University of Kansas researcher.


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Jeffrey Hall, assistant professor of communication studies, surveyed more than 5,000 participants in a national Internet matchmaking service to determine what kinds of people are most likely to lie during the online dating process. He asked them how likely they were to lie about topics such as assets, relationship goals, personal interests, personal attributes, past relationships, age and weight.

"What people lie about depends on what kind of people they are," Hall said. "For example, if you're an extrovert, you might downplay the number of past relationships you've had because chances are you've had more relationships than an introvert."

Those most likely to lie during online dating experiences are "high self-monitors" -- people who have an acute sense of what people like and control their behavior to achieve social ends. Their actions are not necessarily manipulative, Hall said, but rather reflect a desire to be liked and to fit in.

Hall's research was published in the February issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

In the study, men admitted to lying more overall, but women were most likely to lie about their weight. Because online daters hope to meet face-to-face eventually, the amount of lying is quite small, Hall said.

"Online daters shouldn't be concerned that most people are presenting a false impression of themselves," Hall said. "What influences face-to-face dating influences the online world




Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Communication In Hospitals. What happens When There Is Hand Off From One Shift To The Next?

Communication Often Fumbled During Patient Hand-Offs in Hospital
Science Daily (Mar. 13, 2010) — As shifts change in a hospital, outgoing physicians must "hand off" important information to their replacements in a brief meeting. But a new study of this hand-off process finds that the most important information is not fully conveyed in a majority of cases, even as physicians rate their communication as successful.


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The research, published by University of Chicago researchers in the March issue of Pediatrics, highlights the importance of educating doctors about successful communication skills during hand-offs. The results also emphasize the risk inherent in increased hand-offs necessitated by restrictions on medical resident work hours, even as further work limits are being discussed.

"When resident hours are shortened, you have more hand-offs," said Vineet Arora, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "You could have concerns about either a tired physician who knows the patient or a well-rested physician that may not know the patient. The trade off is between fatigue and familiarity."

Conducted through a unique collaboration between physicians and psychologists at the University of Chicago, the study observed hand-off communication between pediatric interns -- first-year residents -- at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. Interns at the end of an overnight shift would spend a total of 10-15 minutes sharing information about hospitalized patients with the resident relieving them in a designated hand-off room.

Both the outgoing and incoming interns were then asked by researchers about what they thought was the most important information conveyed during the hand-off about each patient. Surprisingly, what the outgoing intern identified as the most important information was not successfully communicated to the incoming intern 60 percent of the time. The rationale for certain medical decisions -- such as why a patient is on a particular drug or why the primary care physician should be contacted -- was also not understood by the receiving intern in a majority of cases.

But despite these miscommunication, interns on both sides of the hand-off consistently rated the quality of their communication as very high. Boaz Keysar, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago and co- author of the paper, said that this disconnect between perceived and actual success of communication is common in other settings.

"You would imagine the kind of miscommunication we discover elsewhere actually might be reduced when the stakes are high in a clinical setting, because it matters so much," Keysar said. "But the opposite is true, which I think is counter-intuitive and important to know."

The results were even more striking given the optimal hand-off conditions for interns at Comer Children's Hospital. In each hand-off, a conversation takes place in a designated room under supervision by more experienced physicians. In previous research, Arora found that many hospitals and programs have much less organized hand-off procedures -- if they occur at all.

In illustrating the communication breakdowns that plague even best-case hand-off conditions, Arora and Keysar hope to inform medical centers and schools of the need for better education about hand-offs. The study found that "anticipatory guidance" -- offering to-do items or if-then advice -- was a more effective way of communicating information between interns than passing on knowledge items in bulk. Currently, Arora and colleagues are working on a simulation exercise for fourth-year medical students to train more effective hand-off communication skills.

Such training, they hope, will be more effective than relying upon computer programs and electronic medical records to facilitate hand-off communication. A verbal exchange of information remains important so that young doctors can make quick, informed decisions about patients, Arora said.

"IT solutions cannot substitute for a successful communication act," Arora said. "We aren't at the point where computers are going to do that for us. Technology solutions can help so that you have the information that you need when you need it, but to look at that information and be able to make a judgment about what to do, that is what the hand-off conversation is for."

But while researchers look for the best way to improve those conversations, Arora and Keysar hope that medical policymakers are aware of the risks inherent in the current hand-off model. As the Accreditation Council for General Medical Education ponders further restrictions upon the number of hours residents and interns can work, the consequences of those reduced hours must be acknowledged, they said.

"We tend to be very myopic in the way we think about this problem," Keysar said. "Reducing hours is good, but there's a cost that is not obvious at all, and this study really spells that cost out. It's very difficult for us to gauge how well we are understood, and this should be taken into account in the trade-off between number of work hours and fatigue."





Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Talking On The Cell Phone While Driving Can Make People Dislike You. First Impressions

Does talking on the cell phone while driving effect your impression?
New research shows that divers talking to people on the cell phone talked more than they listened. And used simpler words. This is so interesting. It makes me wonder if this is one of the behaviors that is pushing us to more narcissistic behavior. We are becoming more "ME" focused.
Read one of the quotes then an article on the original research below.

"Conversation analyses revealed some interesting patterns, according to the researchers. When driving tasks got more complicated, drivers appeared to modulate the complexity of their speech, as measured by syllables-per-word. Drivers also talked more when using cell phones, perhaps, the authors speculated, because they were trying to control the conversation to avoid using the mental resources required to really listen to the other person.

Meanwhile, passengers took an active role in supporting the driver, often talking about surrounding traffic. That shared situational awareness could be helpful to the
Drivers Distracted More By Cell Phones Than By Passengers
Science Daily (Dec. 1, 2008) — Drivers make more mistakes when talking on a cell phone than when talking to passengers, new research shows.


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This finding addresses the common question about whether driver distraction comes from cell-phone use specifically or conversation generally.

Even when drivers used a hands-free cell phone, driving performance was significantly compromised. "Cell phone and passenger conversation differ in their impact on a driver's performance; these differences are apparent at the operational, tactical, and strategic levels of performance," the researchers wrote.

The study, led by Frank Drews, PhD, of the University of Utah, analyzed the driving performance of 41 mostly young adult drivers paired with 41 friends who served as conversation partners. Both sexes were equally represented.

In each of three experimental conditions (conversation with hands-free cell phone, conversation in the car, or no conversation), one person in each pair was randomly selected to be the "driver" and the other the conversation partner.

Drivers used a sophisticated simulator that presented a 24-mile multi lane highway with on- and off-ramps, overpasses and two-lane traffic in each direction. Participants drove under an irregular-flow condition that mimics real highway conditions -- with other vehicles, in compliance with traffic laws, changing lanes and speeds. This context required "drivers" to pay attention to surrounding traffic.

In the cell-phone conversation condition, drivers' conversation partners were at another location. In the in-car conversation condition, partners sat next to their (simulated) drivers. In both cases, conversation partners were told to tell one another a previously undisclosed "close call" story about a time their lives were threatened.

All drivers were instructed to leave the simulated highway once they arrived at a rest area about eight miles from the starting point. Partners were told the driver had this task. The driving sequences took about 10 minutes to finish.

Drivers talking by cell phone drove significantly worse than drivers talking to passengers. The cell-phone users were more likely to drift in their lane, kept a greater distance between their car and the car in front, and were four times more likely to miss pulling off the highway at the rest area. Passenger conversation barely affected all three measures.

The authors said the problems could have stemmed from inattention "blindness," or insufficient processing of information from the driving environment. Cell-phone users may also have found it harder to hold in working memory the intent to exit at the rest area.

Conversation analyses revealed some interesting patterns, according to the researchers. When driving tasks got more complicated, drivers appeared to modulate the complexity of their speech, as measured by syllables-per-word. Drivers also talked more when using cell phones, perhaps, the authors speculated, because they were trying to control the conversation to avoid using the mental resources required to really listen to the other person.

Meanwhile, passengers took an active role in supporting the driver, often talking about surrounding traffic. That shared situational awareness could be helpful to the




Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Is Talking On Your Cell Phone Bad For Your Relationship?

This research article simply states a distracted listener is more likely to make mistakes that could harm a relationship.

Talking On Your Cell Phone While Driving May Be Hazardous To Your Close Relationships
Science Daily (June 15, 2010) — Warnings about the dangers of distracted driving while using a cell phone are prevalent these days, but cell phone use while driving may also put family relationships in jeopardy, says University of Minnesota professor Paul Rosenblatt.


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The same factors that make using a cell phone while driving more hazardous -- longer reaction times and impaired attention -- can also make family communication in that situation more risky, says Rosenblatt in an article in the current issue of Family Science Review. The article, authored by Rosenblatt and graduate student Xiaohui Li, provides a speculative theoretical analysis on the topic. Rosenblatt is a family social science professor in the university's College of Education and Human Development.

"If we assume that the relationship risks involved in talking on a cell phone while driving are similar to the driving risks -- both tasks involve divided attention and distraction -- we can develop ideas about how a family relationship may be impaired," Rosenblatt says in the article.

For example, studies have indicated that cell phone use while driving leads to slower reaction times on the road. This could translate to the driver's cell phone conversation as well.

"A delay in the conversation could be a problem if the person (spouse or partner) on the other end of the conversation interprets the delayed reaction as an indicator of ambivalence, of not having a ready answer or of hiding something. This all leads to upsetting the partner," Rosenblatt says.

And, what if the driver misses important details of the conversation? This could lead to misunderstandings and more hard feelings, he says.

"In general, cell phone usage while driving might lead to missed relationship stop lights, slow reactions to dangerous relationship circumstances, loss of control of one's part of the interaction, and interaction mistakes that could lead to conflict, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and possibly even serious damage to the relationship," Rosenblatt says in the article.

The partner who is not driving might be worried about the driver's safety and may cut a conversation short so the driver can concentrate, but the driver might interpret that in a negative way.

In addition to the relationship problems created by talking on cell phone while driving, a number of problems arise that both people have when one of them is driving while talking on a cell phone.

The lack of visual cues including gestures, facial expressions and posture creates challenges. Poor cell phone reception and the noise from the automobile and the road can all contribute to misunderstandings, he says.

In the article, Rosenblatt explores five hypothetical examples of possible relationship problems that could arise when a driver is talking with a family member via cell phone. The examples he explores include the partner asking the driver to run an errand; a family member calls with good news; a family member calls with bad news; arguments over the phone and apologies over the phone. Each of the scenarios can be wrought with frustration and misunderstanding.

Most relationships can manage the added difficulties related to cell phone use.

"However, for couples in which things have been so difficult that they both are considering ending the relationship, problems arising from a difficult phone conversation, may push their relationship to the tipping point," Rosenblatt says.



Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

How Accurate Are First Impressions Made From Viewing People In Photos?

How accurate are personality assessments made of people in photographs?

I quote this research to my audiences so they know how much information is communicated in an instant.

First Impressions Count When Making Personality Judgments, New Research Shows
Science Daily (Nov. 4, 2009) — First impressions do matter when it comes to communicating personality through appearance, according to new research by psychologists Laura Naumann of Sonoma State University and Sam Gosling of The University of Texas at Austin.

•Despite the crucial role of physical appearance in creating first impressions, until now little research has examined the accuracy of personality impressions based on appearance alone. These findings will be published in the December 2009 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, co-written with Simine Vazire (Washington University in St. Louis) and Peter J. Rentfrow (University of Cambridge).

"In an age dominated by social media where personal photographs are ubiquitous, it becomes important to understand the ways personality is communicated via our appearance," says Naumann. "The appearance one portrays in his or her photographs has important implications for their professional and social life."

In the study, observers viewed full-body photographs of 123 people they had never met before. The targets were viewed either in a controlled pose with a neutral facial expression or in a naturally expressed pose. The accuracy of the judgments was gauged by comparing them to the aggregate of self-ratings and that of three informants who knew the targets well, a criterion now widely regarded as the gold standard in personality research.

Even when viewing the targets in the controlled pose, the observers could accurately judge some major personality traits, including extraversion and self-esteem. But most traits were hard to detect under these conditions. When observers saw naturally expressive behavior (such as a smiling expression or energetic stance), their judgments were accurate for nine of the 10 personality traits. The 10 traits were extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness, likability, self-esteem, loneliness, religiosity and political orientation.

"We have long known that people jump to conclusions about others on the basis of very little information," says Gosling, "but what's striking about these findings is how many of the impressions have a kernel of truth to them, even on the basis of something as simple a single photograph."

Gosling cautioned that observers still make plenty of mistakes, but noted that this latest work is important because it sheds new light on the sources of accuracy and inaccuracy of judgments.

With this kind of knowledge, individuals can choose to alter their appearance in specific ways, either to make identity claims or shape others impressions of them, Naumann says.

"If you want potential employers or romantic suitors to see you as a warm and friendly individual, you should post pictures where you smile or are standing in a relaxed pose," suggests Naumann.

For example, whether you smile and how you stand (tense vs. relaxed, energetic vs. tired) are important cues to judge a variety of traits. Extraverts smile more, stand in energetic and less tense ways, and look healthy, neat and stylish. People who are more open to experience are less likely to have a healthy, neat appearance, but are more likely to have a distinctive style of dress.

The researchers also found males who have a neat and healthy appearance are often seen as more conscientious. However, defining personality in women was more difficult because they were more strongly influenced by cultural demands to look presentable.

Digital high-resolution images demonstrating the standardized and spontaneous full-body photographs are available upon request.


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://PattiWood.net. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Can Opposites Attract?


Patti Wood, author of "Success Signals," looks at the body language of Courteney Cox and David Arquette for OK Weekly Magazine. Patti says that even though they are totally opposite their body language is living proof that opposites attract and can develop into a wonderful relationship!
http://www.scribd.com/doc/34274000/OK-CourteneyDavid

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at http://pattiwood.net/. Also check out the body language quiz on her YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.