Palm Reading Perspectives

Multi-Perspective Palm Reading: About Hands & how to make a Hand-Diagnosis

Archive for the ‘hand gestures’ Category

Learn how Your Hands may guide Your Brains to solve a Problem!

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CHICAGO, JUNE 2011 – New psychology research suggests that hand gestures unconsciously influence people’s problem solving strategy! Two experiments have shown that when people are confronted with a problem to solve, they don’t just use their brains but the rest of their bodies, too. “Being able to use your body in problem solving alters the way you solve the problems,” says University of Wisconsin psychology professor Martha Alibali. “Body movements are one of the resources we bring to cognitive processes.”

These conclusions, of a new study by Alibali and colleagues—Robert C. Spencer, also at the University of Wisconsin, and Lucy Knox and Sotaro Kita of the University of Birmingham—are augmented by another, counter-intuitive one – even when we are solving problems that have to do with motion and space, the inability to use the body may force us to come up with other strategies, and these may be more efficient.

The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.


The study involved two experiments. The first recruited 86 American undergraduates, half of whom were prevented from moving their hands using Velcro gloves that attached to a board. The others were prevented from moving their feet, using Velcro straps attached to another board. The latter thus experienced the strangeness of being restricted, but also had their hands free.  From the other side of an opaque screen, the experimenter asked questions about gears in relation to each other—e.g., “If five gears are arranged in a line, and you move the first gear clockwise, what will the final gear do?” The participants solved the problems aloud and were videotaped.

The videotapes were then analyzed for the number of hand gestures the participants used (hand rotations or “ticking” movements, indicating counting); verbal explanations indicating the subject was visualizing those physical movements; or the use of more abstract mathematical rules, without reference to perceptual-motor processes.

Psychologist dr. Martha Alibali.

The results: The people who were allowed to gesture usually did so—and they also commonly used perceptual-motor strategies in solving the puzzles. The people whose hands were restrained, as well as those who chose not to gesture (even when allowed), used abstract, mathematical strategies much more often.

The findings evince deeper questions about the relationship of mind and body and their relationship to space, says Alibali. “As human thinkers, we use visual-spatial metaphors all the time to solve problems and conceptualize things—even in domains that don’t seem physical on their face. Adding is ‘up,’ subtracting is ‘down.’ A good mood is ‘high,’ a bad one is ‘low.’ This is the metaphoric structuring of our conceptual landscape.”

Alibali, who is also an educational psychologist, asks: “How we can harness the power of action and perception in learning?” Or, conversely: What about the cognitive strategies of people who cannot use their bodies? “They may focus on different aspects of problems,” she says. And, it turns out, they may be onto something the rest of us could learn from.

Obviously, by controling- or using your hands… you can stimulate your brains to find another strategy (in respective: an abstract- or verbal explanation) to solve a problem

More studies related to the connection between hand gestures & palm reading:

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

June 10, 2011 at 4:40 am

HAND MOTORICS – Hands, Hypermobility & a Hand Motor Quiz!

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Hands are by far the most differentiated multi-functional tools of the body. Women usually have more talent for tasks that require the use of fine hand motor skills (involving the fingers). While men have more talent for tasks that require more forcefull & spatial hand motor skills (where the arm becomes involved). But sometimes these ‘hand talents’ are featured with a serious handicap!

The hand motorics of individuals can vary significantly, and the individual difference can manifest skills that relate to e.g. flexibility, mobility, strength, handedness, sensation & hand gestures. But this is common knowledge for quite a while


An example of how a ‘hand talent’ can be featured with a servious handicap concerns having hyperflexible hands, which is also known as ‘double jointed thumbs’ or ‘hypermobile fingers’.

People who have this hand characteristic are often able to ‘show’ their talent by making funny gestures such as seen in the picture above. However, hypermobility in the hands may also be symptomatic of a serious medical condition, such as: the hand in Down’s syndrome, the hand in fragile-X syndrome,  the hand in Marfan syndrome & the hand in rheumatoid arthritis.

And in those cases Multi-Perspective Palm Reading will become helpfull to discriminate by other hand characteristics – such as e.g. hand shape – which problem is involved. A classic source for learning more about how the hand relates to human behavior & diseases is Dr. Theodore J. Berry‘s  work The Hand as a mirror of Systemic Disease (1963)


Below are the hand in 4 disorders displayed, including (listed by alphabetic order):

1 – Marfan syndrome;
2 – Down syndrome; 
3 – rheumatoid arthritis. 

Can you recognize in the picture below which of these three disorders belongs to the hands A, B and C…???

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

May 19, 2011 at 12:17 am

Guidelines for ‘hand diagnostics’ in the DSM IV – diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders!

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Hand biting can signal anxiety & autism.

DSM IV: Hand biting can signal e.g. anxiety & autism.

Can the language of the hands serve as a ‘diagnostic indicator’? This question should not be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. First of all, most people are aware of the significance of body language. However, it is not a public secret that body language can also be misleading. Therefore it is interesting to focuss a little bit more on the role of hands in the DSM IV – the international academic system for classifying psychopathology & mental disorders.

Interestingly, the book ‘DSM IV diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders‘ presents quite a few passage which describe how hands play a significant role in the classification of various serious mental disorders.

A few examples:

1 – Hand biting can signal AUSTISTIC DISORDERS (page 71);
2 – Hand tapping can signal HYPERACTIVITY (page 86);
3 – Inabilities related to the touching of objects can signal DEMENTIA (page 149);
4 – Trembling hands can signal SOCIAL PHOBIAS (page 451);
5 – Cold, clammy hands can signal ANXIETY (page 452);
6 – Sleeping on the hands can signal BREATHING-RELATED SLEEP DISORDERS (page 619);
7 – Wringling of the hands can signal AGITATION (page 819).

Needless to say, of course one should be aware that such hand behaviors should not associated in isolation of other significant clues with mental disorders!

For example, if you haven’t eaten for quite a while … it might just be perfectly normal if you observe that your hands are ‘trembling’. In that situation ‘trembling hands’ will typically  indicate: ‘time for a meal’! And generally, no reason at all to get woried about your social life, or to associate it with autism or anxiety.

Additionally, hand-behavior experts like psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow are generally more focussed on the question ‘why do people use hand gestures?’ instead of answering ‘what is the meaning of a specific gesture?’ Because context is usually decisive regarding the motives why people start using body language.

So reading the ‘language of the hands’ may not be as easy as palm reading books may suggest. 

Read more about the work of Susan Goldin-Meadow via:

Hand Gestures Help Grade School Children Solve Math Problems

In ‘hand diagnostics’ context always matters!

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

April 27, 2011 at 12:52 am

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