A Gesture’s Worth
Dr. Pentland and his colleagues began applying technological tools to a question of human behavior — how people use nonverbal communication cues — the results were startling. Dr. Pentland’s findings — based on data from a device he calls a “sociometer” a wearable, badgelike contraption that can continuously measure various nonverbal aspects of people’s interactions — have implications for both how people communicate and how they understand what is being communicated to them. Dr Penland built a device to read our autonomic nervous system; it’s the oldest part of the nervous system, the fight-or-flight part. He believes that when you become more active and you have more nervous energy. Also on attention, when people pay attention to each other, and he thinks he can read that from the timing between people who are in conversation. If two people are talking together and each one is anticipating when the other will pause and jumping in exactly at that point leaving no gaps, then they’re paying a great deal of attention to each other. There’s more in Dr Penland’s new book Honest Signals. Read an interview with the Prof here. The power of nonverbal communication, from Wall Street Journal.