Research Blog 8

“Presence – How to Pose for Presence”

In this book, the author Amy Cuddy speaks about her own personal experiences with body language and how she uses it in her own life. She also gives ways to work on body language and as I read the chapter “How to pose for presence” I learnt some key ways to use it myself. “ Don’t sit in waiting rooms, hunched over your phone. Stand or walk around instead.” I thought that this quote tied in with my question on how the use of certain technology can effect body language. Here she talks about how using your phone, you automatically revert to a hunched posture, which then in turn leads to poor signals to the brain of lack of confidence etc.  I liked when she said that you need to learn how to use your phone as a Allie not an enemy as it can ultimately lead to poor body language and have a detrimental effect on your brain.

“How to Talk to Anyone”

This book is a very smart collection of different types of ways that someone can use body language in their favor to talk to people. Immediately one quotes that stood out to me was “There are two kinds of people in this life: Those who walk into a room and say, “Well, here I am! And those who walk in and say, “Ahh, there you are.” I felt that this quote summed up my whole research so far in the sense that in reality there are some people who are completely comfortable with themselves in public and there are others who shy away from certain situations as they fear being judged or else getting something wrong. In one chapter the book mentions how eye contact is a key component when it comes to falling in love. It has been proven that eye contact is almost always the first way that two people connect with each other and then form a bond that may or may not be broken.



Research Blog 7

“Non-verbal behavior in Soccer”

This article came from the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology and was published in 2012. Before looking at this source I had narrowed my focus towards sports performance and body language. It is clear from this article that body language plays a predominant role in the professional industry these days. “When viewing televised coverage of sport events, it is noticeable to hear commentators frequently refer to the body language of competing players while also speculating on the level of confidence of those performers.” Players have admitted that they are unintentionally aware of their opponents body language and they can make pre-determined guesses as to how they will perform. Positive body language often correlates with someone who is confident in their ability whilst negative body language portrays the complete opposite. Although when it comes to soccer, goalkeepers say that they fear less confident penalty kick takers as they are more focused. The body language even goes as far as motivation for other teammates. When a person scores a penalty kick, and raises both arms in celebration, his team’s energy level increases and their performance can have a positive outcome. Interestingly, this article also brings up the debate between animals use of body language and power like Amy Cuddy in her Ted Talk. “For example, evidence from evolutionary psychology suggests that the nonverbal expression of dominance and submissiveness has evolved in social animals for fit- ness reasons to quickly and efficiently signal information about rank and status”. I found this source very interesting overall.


“Detection of Nonverbal Winning and Losing Behavior in Sport”

This article discusses how nonverbals can be used in sport to either improve performance or worsen performance. An interesting idea came up in this article as it talked about how the body language of an audience can even influence how a team or individual perform. This is evidently seen in soccer as a team that has home advantage seems to have much more energy than the opposing team as a result of greater support from their fans. “Awareness of ones nonverbal behaviors may enhance performance in sport by allowing the projection of dominance rather than appeasement or submissive behavior to the opponent”.  It has been proven many time that athletes who are able to detect opponents body language, can have a slight edge when it comes to competition as their can pre-determine what traits their opponent will have and they can adjust their approach as necessary.


Both of my sources constantly referred to previous studies or research that had been done in the past on the topic. They used these references as good back ups for their articles as it gave them strength to say what they wanted. I really enjoyed these two sources as they were more specific to sports.

Research Blog 6

“Are close friends the Enemy?”

The above article was written by Keith Wilcox and Andrew T. Stephen, as they discuss the impact that social media has on peoples behaviors and self-confidence. It is becoming more and more popular that people who don’t have much real life satisfaction, tend to enjoy using social media a lot more. One reoccurring problem with these sites is that people more often than not only portray what they feel is their good side and don’t show any of the things they don’t want people to see. This all ties in with the body language side of things. These people are using these sites to create false virtual images of themselves. It has been proven that increasing usage of social media can lead people to having less self-control. I am a firm believer that those who prefer using social media sites rather than engage in face-to-face conversations, have very low self-confidence in person and as a result have poor body language which makes them difficult to approach.

“Understanding Body Language”

This video discusses the impact of body language and non-verbal communication and how to read non-verbal cues. In the video we see Eve Ash and Peter Quarry, two psychologists who are experts in the field. Amazingly, I learned that body language communicates roughly 55% of the message, and body language is not only the physical behaviors but it is a wide variety of things that include tone of voice etc. An important point I took away from this video was that your body language not only effects you but it effects the person you are with or talking to. A key concept to do with body language is engaging the person/people you are with and this can all be done with hand gestures and eye-contact. Not making eye-contact with someone can immediately disengage your audience. “The eyes give a lot. Facial gestures give a lot of information. Certainly the vast majority of body language is communicated through facial gestures.” Overall, your body language or non-verbal cues creates an image for yourself that others view you as.

“Interpersonal communication: a review of eye contact”

“Eye behavior is an important dimension of inter- personal communication. In fact, without eye contact, most adults say they are not able to fully communicate or to determine whether they are being understood”. It is clear that there are both positive and negative ways to use eye contact. Eye contact can be used to show that you are engaged in a conversation while it can also be used to show aggression towards someone. A key part to growing up as a child is the ability to read someones mood etc through eye contact. Children watch their parents facial cues to determine if they have done the right or wrong thing. “Infrequent eye contact may indicate shyness, discomfort, or anxiety. Lack of eye contact can indicate embarrassment or dishonesty”. I would consider eye contact as the most important form of non-verbal communication as you can tell many things from it.

In conclusion, all of my sources that I am finding are all relating to each other in some shape or form. My leading question of the effects of body language, branches off into sub-categories but I still feel my question is a good one. What I have found is that there are certain keywords related to my question and these have all helped my research.



Research Blog 5

“The Hidden Power of Smiling”

The above link directs you to a Ted talk given by Ron Gutman in March of 2011 on the effects of smiling on the human brain. Gutman is a well known entrepreneur who graduated from Stanford and has carried out lots of research in personalized health and to design ways to help people live healthier, happier lives. He presents us with the idea of babies and how it has been proven that “we are born smiling” “even in the womb”. It has also been linked that smiling can be connected with living longer.

Gutman goes on to talk about how Charles Darwin has developed a theory based on the facial feedback response theory. “His theory states that the act of smiling itself actually makes us feel better, rather than smiling being merely a result of feeling good.” This talk ties in with my previous research and again like most of my sources, connects with Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk with the idea that you can actually “fake it till you make it”. It has been proven that smiling can stimulate the same parts of the brain that chocolate does, meaning that our mood is lightened and we feel happier overall. More importantly, not only does smiling effect you on the outside, “smiling can help reduce the level of stress-enhancing hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, increase the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and reduce overall blood pressure.”

During his talk, Gutman, constantly refers to numerous studies that have been carried out in the past. His ideas are based off these previous studies and help back up his argument about the importance of smiling. Towards the end of this talk he talks about the effects that smiling can have in terms of how other people view you. It raises the question with me about how important is body language/body image when it comes to attracting people of the opposite sex. What I have struggled to find so far is how people can be attracted/un attracted to people with positive/negative body language.

Research Blog 4

“Work the Power Pose”

This article “Work the Power Pose” was written by a woman named Kelly J. Baker and was published in March of 2016 and the idea behind this article was from the Ted talk “Your Body Language Shapes who You Are” by Amy Cuddy. Baker was fascinated by this Ted talk and felt that she wanted to delve into this topic more so decided that she herself would take the ideas from Cuddy and see if they worked for herself. Before doing this she also researched Cuddy’s book “Presence” which again talks about the importance of body language and that by spending up to two minutes in a so called “power pose” can boost self-esteem and mood.

One of the major poses mentioned is the “wonder woman”. It consists of standing upright with your arms spread wide apart in the air almost as if celebrating something. It is proven that spending time in this position is comforting for your brain. This article also highlighted the fact that spending lots of time on your phone or device can force you into low, powerless poses and as a result can have a negative effect on things like your mood and self-confidence. Having done it myself I can add a testimonial to that list that these poses can alter moods. It also lead me onto the idea of “fake it till you make it”, and it has sparked my interest in learning how this idea can help sport or athletic performance just by faking something does it ultimately lead you to actually believing it?

Research Blog 3

“The Effect of Duration of Eye Contact on American College Students’ Attributions of State, Trait, and Test Anxiety”

In my first source, I read about the effects that eye-contact had on individuals. One thing that caught my attention from the beginning was how eye-contact is proven to increase peoples self esteem when they are in situations such as interviews etc. This article was published in June of 1995 in the Journal of Social Psychology. The article is based on a study that was carried out whereby people were placed in an interview situation in front of a camera. “All tapes were 60 s long. The model neither spoke nor changed facial expression from neutral; only eye contact was shifted on a signal from a prompter off-camera but peripherally visible to the model.” The main aim of this was to prove that no matter how the individual looked or appeared, eye-contact determined their confidence and self-esteem. Amazingly enough, as eye-contact increased, self-anxiety decreased which is quite astonishing. This article left me with the question of “Does eye contact have an effect on the person who is being looked at?”. Can someones eye contact effect how the other person behaves towards them?

“Public Speaking: Principles of Public Speaking—Delivery”

The above video discusses the impact that body language has on people. I was baffled by the fact that 90% of the information you obtain from a conversation is trough non-verbal cues. The fact that babies can copy facial expressions from as young as one month of age is amazing. This video talks about how difficult it would be to communicate with people if you were unable to understand tone or non-verbal cues. It also talks about the importance of ones body language when giving a speech in order to portray the right message. Somebody who stands up to give a speech and portrays the characteristics of a shy person will lose his/her audience due to lack of confidence. This video was published in 2012 and is now available through the videos on demand section on the libraries website. It is pivotal whilst giving a speech that your facial expression matches the tone of your topic, i.e.: a serious subject matter should coincide with a serious facial expression.

I would say that overall my subject is not changing as I begin to research it further. In all honesty, my guiding question is going down the road that I had imagined for my topic. The relationship between body language and peoples confidence/ self-esteem is pretty constant. Those who tend to portray a confident body language tend to be more assertive in person an easily approachable. Similarly those who are comfortable with eye-contact have a high self-esteem and are not afraid of face-to-face confrontations.


Argument as Conversation

When reading this article there were a number of ideas that I could relate to as I begin my research. The first one of those was the idea of ‘entering the conversation’. For me, my question was based around the effects that body language has on an individual. This topic has been researched in the past and my job is to “enter the conversation” and continue to find information that relates to the topic. What I research will have come from other people’s research and as a result I am joining the conversation.

Greene compares the two ideas of reading as inquiry vs reading as a search for information. What I understood from it was “reading as inquiry” relates to somebody who researches for their own personal questions and something they are interested in whilst “reading as a search for information” refers to education where you are reading just to obtain as much information as you can on that topic.

The term “framing” refers to the reader as they name their position before they enter the argument. Topics can be researched from many different directions but the concept of “framing” your research encourages you to choose what direction you want to approach from. You can see this from a number of writers and as an example, Turkle approaches technology from a negative point of view and it very biased towards the con side of technology.

In my inquiry project, watching the Ted talk by Amy Cuddy on body language has given me the baseline idea on the topic and has opened my eyes in relation to where my research may take me. Before watching this video, I had no idea about any of the information Cuddy referred to in her speech. I think having read “Argument as Conversation”, it has made me think about researching from different perspectives. It is important when researching that I understand that those who have already researched the topic are part of the conversation and that my research is just a continuation and there is no set or defined answer to be looking for. The conversation will continue even when I finish my research and new ideas may change the way people in the future approach their inquiry.