Getting the point across: Scientists find managers who frequently make pointing gestures tend to be obeyed

Daily Mail:

The secret of management may be a lot simpler than most business science courses might have you believe – just point your fingers a lot.

Film directors such as Stephen Spielberg do a lot of seemingly meaningless pointing on set – but the gesture helps stamp authority on a chaotic film set.

From a very early age, humans associate pointing with teaching and authority – and tend to believe and obey people who point.

Psychologists believe we link the gesture to people with knowledge and authority.

Simply gesticulating like this may suggest they have greater knowledge and should be obeyed, according to a team from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Psychologist Carolyn Palmquist said: ‘From an early age, when children see pointing, they understand it as an important gesture used in contexts of teaching and learning.’

‘We learn that generally people point because they have good reason to do it.’

The scientists carried out a series of experiments with pre-school children and found pointing was enormously persuasive.

Read the whole story: Daily Mail

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