Handshake Research Paper

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Scientific method, Employment Pages: 4 (1172 words) Published: May 5, 2015

“Exploring the Handshake in Employment Interviews”

The handshake is a regular part of business communication and culture; it is a widely known belief that nonverbal cues can be a defining factor to how a candidate is perceived. A handshake being a perpetuated cultural norm in business culture was found to have significance, but none that was scientifically proven. The study of handshakes in employment interviews was conducted because researchers were curious about to what extent does a handshake affect interviewer hiring recommendations. There were assumptions made by public opinion that there was a correlation between “ideal” handshakes and non-ideal handshakes affecting job offers, but there was never a controlled scientific study conducted. This study wanted to be the first, its purpose being to attempt to examine how the handshake conveys information about the candidate’s personality, hiring recommendations, and women’s handshake ratings in relation to men.

The first research question raised was “is the handshake quality related to ratings in employment interviews?” There has already been correlational evidence between positive non-verbal cues being attributed to interviewer liking in relation to posture, smiling and eye contact. A handshake is also a non-verbal cue but involves communication through touch. Touch such as a handshake can convey immediacy between interviewer and candidate, Immediacy meaning a physical or psychological closeness. Immediacy is attributed to the extent that an interviewer likes a candidate. Where as a quality handshake can convey higher immediacy, an unfavorable one can decrease a candidate’s likeableness. The hypothesis constructed to answer the first research question was that “Individuals with a firm handshake will receive more positive evaluations during employment interviews.”

The second research question raised was “what does the handshake communicate?” Researchers found that the handshake can be correlated...
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