The Influence of Handshakes on First Impression Accuracy
- Problem: Briefly describe the problem under investigation. In other words, what were the researchers interested in studying?
The main interest of the researchers was to determine if handshakes had an impact on improving the accurateness with which individuals judged a set of targets.
- Literature Review: Briefly describe some of the research reviewed in the introduction
Bernieri and Petty (2011) have reviewed research on the role of handshakes during job interviews, personality, and handshaking, and the influence of handshake on interaction outcomes and first impressions while noting that it has not yet been established if handshakes help to deliver trait information accurately. Additional literature reviewed by the authors indicates that gender differences exist where men tend to have more firm and direct handshakes than women.
- Theoretical Considerations: What theory or theories guided this research (if any)?The Influence of Handshakes on First
Gender differences result in variation in handshaking experience given that historically, the act of handshaking has been practiced more by men compared to women.
- Hypothesis: What was the hypothesis or hypotheses? (Note: There were several hypotheses related to gender, personality, and first impressions)The Influence of Handshakes on First Impression Accuracy
It was hypothesized that handshakes make first impressions more accurate. It was also hypothesized that the targets maintain eye contact with the participants. Finally, it was hypothesized that the firmness of the handshake would vary across the genders: men were expected to have a firm handshake while that of women was expected to be less vigorous.
- Research Design: Briefly describe the research design. For example, how many participants were in the study? What did those participants do as part of their participation?
More than 300 psychology students were pre-screened. From this number, five males and five females were selected to serve as targets on the basis of their willingness to participate in the study and their NEO PI-R trait profile. The experiment was conducted in sessions that involved a single participant and five female targets or five male targets while maintaining target sex as a constant to minimize the impact of gender differences. The participants were meant to understand that they will meet five individuals consecutively. On the other hand, the targets were asked to enter a room 10 seconds apart before approaching a participant of the same sex seated behind a desk. They then provided a short introduction of themselves by stating their stage name. After shaking hands or not, they proceeded to take a seat at a large conference table. The standard introduction remained constant throughout the study and a Latin square was used to order the 5 targets. The participants rated the personality of all same-gender targets after they had introduced themselves and sat down with reference to the 10 items contained in Ten Item Personality Inventory as presented by Gosling and colleagues (2003).
- Data Analysis and Statistical Decisions: Briefly describe the main results of the study. (Hint: If you are having trouble understanding the Results section, read the beginning of the Discussion section or the Abstract for a synopsis).The Influence of Handshakes on First
The results of the study indicated that the act of shaking someone’s hand does not increase the accuracy of a first impression, and therefore, cannot be used as a diagnostic tool for evaluating others except in conscientiousness involving male-male introductions.The Influence of Handshakes on First Impression Accuracy
- Decisions in Terms of Past Research and Theory: Was the hypothesis supported? How do these results fit in with past research?
Although the main result had not been hypothesized or predicted, the hypotheses were supported. The results obtained are consistent with past research that has stressed the importance of face-to-face interviews and their significance of handshake.
- Finding a New Problem: Did the authors of this study suggest new research based on these results? Explain.
Based on the findings obtained, the authors suggest new research to determine the influence of handshake on conscientiousness when performed as an important and well-rehearsed activity between experienced women. According to the authors, the hypothesis of such research could be: Among professional women that shake hands on a regular basis as part of the work culture, conscientiousness would emerge in the handshake as it is the case for men.
The Influence of Handshakes on First
Bernieri, F. J., & Petty, K. N. (2011). The influence of handshakes on first impression accuracy. Social Influence, 6(2), 78-87.