Do you want people to like you more? Think of you as attractive, but also as one of them? Try nodding more, suggests new research. This simple, non-verbal gesture may do wonders for your popularity.
Two Japanese-based researchers set out to investigate the psychological impact of two head motions: nodding in approval and shaking one’s head in disapproval.
Jun-ichiro Kawahara, associate professor at the Hokkaido University in Sapporo, collaborated with Takayuki Osugi, associate professor at Yamagata University in Yamagata, to test the effect of the two gestures on subjective likability and approachability.
This is not the first time that the effect of nodding is studied formally, nor is it the first time that the two researchers have worked together.
A former, influential study conducted in 2003 suggested that nodding to what an interlocutor is saying influences the listener’s beliefs. Surprisingly — and somewhat counterintuitively — the study revealed that when hearing out a weak argument, people who nod more tend to disagree more with the opinion heard.
Another study examined nodding in relation to gender and status, and found that women nod a lot more than men, and that both genders tend to nod more in response to authority and people of a higher status.