Palm Reading Perspectives

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

Posts Tagged ‘psychologist

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.


TWO EXPERIMENTS:

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:

http://www.handresearch.com/news/hand-gestures.htm

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

June 10, 2011 at 4:40 am

The Professor in Psychology who Started his Career as a Palm Reader!

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Ray Hyman, Prof. in Psychology.

‘No-no!’ This is not the story of the  British ‘finger-professor’ Professor John T. Manning – who became famous for his finger length ratio studies.

This is the story of another psychologist: Professor Ray Hyman! Who started his career in psychology at Boston University (USA) with a rather remarkable experience in the field of palm reading. In a 2007 interview he told the story of how he got interested in the ‘psychology of self-deception’. As a college student, he tried to earn some money as a palm reader by read several books on the art of ‘palmistry’. However… he didn’t believe any of it!

However, young Hyman got so much positive feedback from his customers, however, that he started to think that maybe he did have psychic powers. The self-deception didn’t last long.

In a 2007 interview with Michael Shermer (the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine) prof. Ray Hyman told his story: 

“Going back in time, I did palm readings for years, and for awhile I had become a gung ho believer. I started as a skeptic but as I added things to my repertoire I became a believer. I couldn’t travel as a young magician so I was forced to play at the same places and had to come up with new things for them. This is when I took up palm reading. I watched people in the carnies and got to know them and picked up a lot of things from them. I didn’t want to do sword swallowing or anything like that, but with palm reading you could tell people all sorts of detailed things about them, like what point they had a heart attack, what age they were when they had a problem with their head, and so on. By high school, even though I was a skeptic about most things, I believed in palm reading because it seemed plausible to me since the palm is physically connected with the body.”

 “…The late Stanley Jaks convinced me to do a palm reading on someone and tell them the exact opposite of what I would normally say. So I did this. If I thought I saw in this woman’s palm that she had heart trouble at age 5, for example. I said, “well, you have a very strong heart,” that sort of thing. In this particular case, though, it was really spooky, because she just sat there poker faced. Usually I get a lot of feedback from the subject. In fact, I depend on the feedback, and this woman was giving me nothing. It was weird. I thought I bombed. But it turns out the reason she was so quiet was because she was stunned. She told me it was the most impressive reading she had ever had. So I did this with a couple more clients, and I suddenly realized that whatever was going on had nothing to do with what I said but with the presentation itself. This was one of the reasons I went into psychology—I wanted to find out how it was that people, including myself, could be so easily deceived. In fact, this is one of the reasons why I am not as confrontational as James Randi, because I actually see that “there but for the grace of God go I.”

This is how Hyman discovered that it didn’t really matter what he told the people who’s hand he read. Because in his experience he found that his clients would figure out a way to make him right.

Hyman later became an expert in understanding ‘cold reading’ and ‘subjective validation’, the words that are used today to describe the process of making claims with no basis in fact or palm reading study and having them validated as true by others.

(Unfortunately… Hyman didn’t mentioned the titles of the palmistry books that he had used as a student)


You can read here a bit more about the ‘image’ of hand reading:

http://www.handresearch.com/hand/Evolutie/imagoEngels.htm

Written by martijnvanmensvoort

June 8, 2011 at 3:18 am

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