So THAT’S Why I Talk With My Hands!

This entry was posted by Saturday, 8 January, 2011
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The guy in the green Toyota? I guess he’s on his car phone or something. Either that or he fergot to take his meds.

Anyway, he’s chattering away like crazy. And his hands are waving in the air. First one hand steers, then the other. Meanwhile, he’s grabbing air and talking.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Is he driving with his knee and waving BOTH hands?

Oh boy.

You know what he’s doing?

Same thing YOU do when you’re blabbin’. Talking with his hands.

You’ve heard that Italians do it. Or Greeks. Or New Yorkers? Or.. It really doesn’t matter. EVERYBODY seems to wave his.her silly digits around in the air when talking.


Which is the funny part. What’s THAT about? Why wave yer hands around to make a point when you’re all by yourself?

Two studies looked at this ” gesture” stuff. One was in Psychological Science and another was in Perspectives in Psychological Science. Conclusion? According to Beilock and Goldin-Meadow (authors), all that waving around? It’s as much for you as it is for the other guy. It helps the brain figure out what it wants to remember and how to remember it.

You learn better if you use your hands to describe things. You learn worse if you don’t. Isn’t that funny?

Teachers and others who specialize in learning may not be grabbing air but they’re certainly scratching their heads about this.


Great science? Change the world? Important?

Probably not.

But if scientists weren’t so quirky, if they didn’t investigate silly crap like what makes the particles in a fluid jigger around, we might have missed out on a few things.

Like atomic theory.

I dunno how to rate this one precisely. A hand waver? I’ll say ScienceAintSoBadRating = 6.


No credits for the drawing. Just the author doodling.

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