Visible Thought: The New Psychology of Body Language

Visible Thought: The New Psychology of Body Language

Visible Thought: The New Psychology of Body Language

Visible Thought: The New Psychology of Body Language

Synopsis

In 'Visible Thought', Geoffrey Beattie, the official Big Brother psychologist, shows how being a psychologist helped him gain insights into the link between voice and gesture - saying one thing whilst meaning another.

Excerpt

In this book I am going to present a new theory of bodily communication, or at least of an important part of bodily communication, namely the movements of the hands and arms that people make when speaking. I will argue that such movements are not part of some system of communication completely divorced from speech, as many psychologists have assumed, rather they are intimately connected with speaking and with thinking. Indeed these movements of the hands and arms reflect our thinking, like language itself but in a completely different manner. I will argue that such behaviours provide us with a glimpse of our hidden unarticulated thoughts. Movements of the hands and arms act as a window on the human mind; they make thought visible.

This is a new theory in psychology, which owes much to the pioneering work of the American psychologist David McNeill, but as the Big Brother psychologist I have taken this theory and applied it to examples of behaviour from the Big Brother house for millions to see. Many seemed to like the basic idea and agreed that my interpretations of unarticulated thoughts were at least plausible, but what was the scientific value of this new theory? Where did the theory come from? How had it been tested? Were there other possible explanations for the unconscious movements of the hands and arms as people speak? In a television show you are not afforded opportunities to go into these kinds of issues. In this book I will outline the scientific case for this new theory and explain why movements of the hands and arms are a crucial and integral part of thinking and why

1. INTRODUCTION

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