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Handshake can 'Really Help Seal the Deal by Undoing Bad Impressions': Researchers

by Rukmani Krishna on October 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM
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 Handshake can 'Really Help Seal the Deal by Undoing Bad Impressions': Researchers

Researchers say that a firm handshake, which some might think is rather old-fashioned, can still help to seal a deal.

According to researchers, the gesture can reinforce positive impressions and even undo bad ones.

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The claim comes from a team at the University of Illinois in the US that scanned the brains of 18 people who watched footage of businessmen meeting for the first time.

Important areas of the brain responded to seeing the handshakes, with Dr Sanda Dolcos saying that the results showed the gesture had "a positive impact."
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In addition, the nucleus accumbens - a region of the brain that is sensitive to rewards - showed greater activity for meetings with handshakes than for those without, thereby demonstrating "the positive effect of a handshake on social evaluation."

"It not only increases the positive effect toward a favourable interaction, but it also diminishes the impact of a negative impression," the Daily Mail quoted Dolcos as saying.

"Many of our social interactions may go wrong for a reason or another, and a simple handshake preceding them can give us a boost and attenuate the negative impact of possible misunderstandings," Dolcos said.

Her colleague Dr Florin Dolcos, also commented on the importance of a handshake.

"In a business setting, this is what people are expecting, and those who know these things use them," Florin said.

"Not a very long time ago you could get a loan based on a handshake. So, it conveys something very important, very basic."

"We knew these things intuitively but now we also have the scientific support."

"Previous research investigating social interactions has used static instead of dynamic social stimuli, or focused only on faces."

"However, in everyday life people are typically involved in dynamic interactions with others in a defined social context."

"I think that is what sets this study apart," he added.

Source: ANI
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