Social Psychology

Ep: 180 – Body Language: What Are Your Thumbs Revealing About You?

What is your body position revealing about you? Some things are obvious – you probably know that crossed arms indicate a certain distrust. There are also flirting gestures that I’ll bet you think you know well (like women playing with their hair and men sticking out their chests), but what about your thumbs? My thumbs? Yes, you might well be revealing something about yourself by where you’re putting them would you believe. Listen in as I talk with Craig Baxter, owner of the website who will tell us a bit more about the fascinating topic of body language.

Resources on Body Language



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    August 28, 2012

    Jeff: nice website. Some very creative images. In addition to the one you link to in your post, I liked the one with the boaters where the one guy was rowing in the opposite direction to the other rowers. And yes, nice capture of typical flirting behaviors in the image you linked to. I admire artists a great deal because I can’t draw to save my life. But you also have a lot of originality in these drawings as well.

    Appreciate the comment and glad to hear that The Psych Files helps to get you through your day (gotta get another one out today).

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    jeff szuc

    August 28, 2012

    Hi Michael,

    First and foremost, I want to thank you for your podcast. It is one of many which keep me company through my workday, but I always particularly look forward to going into the studio when I see that there’s a Psych File downloaded and waiting for me. Though I am in no way affiliated with the psychology field (I’m a graphic artist), I find it fascinating for it’s real world application and insight. This current episode, specifically touches on something which I am a huge proponent of; body language changed my life. Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but only just a little bit.

    Two great sources of body language analysis and usage guidance are “The Definitive Book of Body Language” by Barbara and Allan Pease, and “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It rung very true when your guest was discussing how frequently people mistake flirting signals, that is exactly how the Pease’s book helped me. I could walk into a room and instantly know who was interested and who had no interest at all so as not waste time fighting uphill battles. I also owe a great dept of gratitude to Mr. Carnegie for, although hard work accounts for part of the three promotions I got in two years at my last job, Carnegie’s advice on social mirroring the boss in meetings also plays a huge part.

    Body language is something I’m such a fan of that I made a painting of it. This is a link to a painting about the various body language ‘tells’ in flirting in

    Again, thanks for your podcast, and especially thanks for this last episode.



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