Rethinking Body Language

2016 Routledge

In contrast to the traditional view that body language is primarily concerned with the expression of emotions and the negotiation of social relationships, author Geoff Beattie argues instead that gestures reflect aspects of our thinking but in a different way to verbal language. Critically, the spontaneous hand movements that people make when they talk often communicate a good deal more than they intend.

This ground-breaking book takes body language analysis to a whole new level. Engagingly written by one of the leading experts in the field, it shows how we can detect deception in gesture–speech mismatches and how these unconscious movements can give us real insight into people's underlying implicit attitudes.

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'The scientific study of body language and what it tells us about human nature is absolutely fascinating and especially relevant in an age of digital communication, where communication is being taken out of the body more and more and inserted into virtual spaces. Geoff Beattie's book is an in-depth and thorough investigation into the many modalities of communication, emotion, and cognition involved in body language. It is brilliant and a must read for anyone who is interested in the mind-body-culture nexus that makes humans unique."
Marcel Danesi, University of Toronto, Canada.

*'This superbly written eye-opening book ends the myth that the body has its own language. Gestures and speech unify, and Beattie provides new understanding of exactly how. A rich array of examples show that gestures reveal a speaker’s beliefs and presuppositions as they speak, even when unwittingly they contradict what is being said.'*David McNeill, Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago.