The use of hand gestures as self-generated cues

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Donna Jean Frick (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Robert Guttentag

Abstract: In a series of two experiments, the effects of viewing hand gestures as cues for verbal retrieval was demonstrated. Subjects that were cued with their own self-generated hand gestures for cues retrieved more target words than subjects that were shown someone else's hand gestures or subjects that received no gesture cueing. This effect was consistent across a two-week retrieval period and remained unchanged when the cueing order was different than the input order. In addition, the experiment revealed that concrete words resulted in greater gesture production than abstract words, but that a meaningful gesture was just as effective as a cue for an abstract word as it was for a concrete word. Subjects with high SAT verbal skills produced more gestures than subjects with low SAT verbal skills, and high SAT subjects also benefited more from gesture cueing than low SAT subjects. One other interesting finding was that of incubation and hypermnesia effects in subjects cued with their own gestures. The results are discussed in terms of imagery and information-processing facilitation, as well as episodic and semantic memory.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1991
Nonverbal communication
Imagery (Psychology)

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