Individual Differences in Frequency and Saliency of Speech-Accompanying Gestures: The Role of Cognitive Abilities and Empathy

Mingyuan Chu, Antje Meyer, Lucy Foulkes, Sotaro Kita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 143(2) of Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (see record 2014-11241-001). The link to the supplemental materials containing the gesture coding manual was missing. All versions of this article have been corrected.] The present study concerns individual differences in gesture production. We used correlational and multiple regression analyses to examine the relationship between individuals’ cognitive abilities and empathy levels and their gesture frequency and saliency. We chose predictor variables according to experimental evidence of the functions of gesture in speech production and communication. We examined 3 types of gestures: representational gestures, conduit gestures, and palm-revealing gestures. Higher frequency of representational gestures was related to poorer visual and spatial working memory, spatial transformation ability, and conceptualization ability; higher frequency of conduit gestures was related to poorer visual working memory, conceptualization ability, and higher levels of empathy; and higher frequency of palm-revealing gestures was related to higher levels of empathy. The saliency of all gestures was positively related to level of empathy. These results demonstrate that cognitive abilities and empathy levels are related to individual differences in gesture frequency and saliency. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-709
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume143
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • conceptualization ability
  • empathy
  • gesture production
  • spatial transformation ability
  • working memory
  • speech production
  • communication
  • cognitive ability
  • individual differences

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