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Western People View Handshake More Positively Than East Asians

Researchers say they plan to expand the study to explore handshaking versus the traditional East Asian greeting of bowing

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Western Handshake
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, shakes hands with President Donald Trump after the Bastille Day military parade in Paris, July 14, 2017. VOA
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  • People from the West have a more positive view of handshaking than East Asians
  • Western women rated all interactions with handshakes more positively than those occurring without one
  • Findings are clear evidence of how subtle things that might seem trivial can make a big difference in daily social interactions

July 19, 2017: If you worry about first impressions when you land in the U.S., take note: people from the West have a more positive view of handshaking than East Asians, a new study shows.

Researchers from the University of Illinois showed an equally divided group of 88 Western and East Asian men and women short videos of guest–host interactions in business settings. The characters in the videos either shook hands or not at the beginning of the meeting.

Western participants viewed the interactions involving handshakes more favorably than East Asians, researchers found.

When viewed by gender, Western women rated all interactions with handshakes more positively than those occurring without one. Western men rated female hosts equally positive whether or not a handshake occurred.

“These findings shed light on the role of ethnic and gender differences in the appraisal of nonverbal behaviors, and extend our understanding of factors that may lead to successful social interaction in the context of growing diversity in our society,” the authors said in an abstract published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.

Also Read: Renovation of first Hindu Temple of the Western World almost complete 

University of Illinois psychology professor and researcher Florin Dolcos said results showing that Western males don’t seem to be affected by the absence of a handshake when interacting with females “is clear evidence of how subtle things that might seem trivial can make a big difference in daily social interactions.”

Dolcos conducted the study along with graduate student Yuta Katsumi and professor Sanda Dolcos.

Researchers say they plan to expand the study to explore handshaking versus the traditional East Asian greeting of bowing. (VOA)

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A lesson in the woods may boost kids’ learning

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student's attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

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Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
  • To help students concentrate and learn more, teachers have found a new way of teaching them.
  • This technique of teaching outdoors will boost children’s mental capabilities to learn and remember.

Are your students unable to concentrate on their lessons in the classroom? Take them for outdoor learning sessions.

According to a study, a lesson in the lap of nature can significantly increase children’s attention level and boost their learning.

While adults exposed to parks, trees or wildlife have been known to experience benefits such as increased physical activity, stress reduction, rejuvenated attention and increased motivation, in children, even a view of greenery through a classroom window can have positive effects on their attention span, the researchers said.

The study showed that post an outdoor lesson, students were significantly more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork and were not overexcited or inattentive.

Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons
Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student’s attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

“Our teachers were able to teach uninterrupted for almost twice as long at a time after the outdoor lesson and we saw the nature effect with our sceptical teacher as well,” said Ming Kuo, a scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers tested their hypothesis in third graders (9-10 years old) in a school.

A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA
A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA

Over a 10-week period, an experienced teacher held one lesson a week outdoors and a similar lesson in her regular classroom and another, more sceptical teacher did the same. Their outdoor “classroom” was a grassy spot just outside the school, in view of a wooded area.

A previous research suggested that 15 minutes of self-paced exercise can also significantly improve a child’s mood, attention and memory. IANS

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