Thinking with Your Hands: The Surprising Science Behind How Gestures Shape Our Thoughts

Basic Jun. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781541600805. $30. PSYCH
In this thought-provoking book, leading gesture expert Goldin-Meadow (psychology, Univ. of Chicago; Hearing Gesture), a former president of the International Society for Gesture Studies, explains that people’s hand movements when they speak often express hidden thoughts and unspoken details. The book takes an in-depth look at homesigns, invented gestures used by Deaf children to communicate when they either do not know the ASL gesture for the word or when they are communicating with others who do not know sign language. One particularly interesting chapter discusses how hand gestures can be used to unconsciously express thoughts, change minds, and also influence others’ responses. The author asserts that hand gestures can affect the pace of learning and improve abstract reasoning and education. The book also indicates that restricting hand gestures can affect thinking processes. The book’s three-part chapter groupings (with notes and index) provide logical, convincing arguments and a fascinating look into communicating with gestures.
VERDICT Highly recommended for those interested in communication, nonverbal language, and kinesics.
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