In which direction to move? Facilitative and interference effects of gestures on problem solver's thinking

Published on Jan 30, 2018in Journal of cognitive psychology1.062
· DOI :10.1080/20445911.2018.1432628
S.I. Wassenburg6
Estimated H-index: 6
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam),
Björn B. de Koning17
Estimated H-index: 17
(EUR: Erasmus University Rotterdam),
Menno van der Schoot17
Estimated H-index: 17
(VU: VU University Amsterdam)
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Abstract
ABSTRACTRecent research shows that co-speech gestures can influence gesturers’ thought. This line of research suggests that the influence of gestures is so strong, that it can wash out and reverse an effect of learning. We argue that these findings need a more robust and ecologically valid test, which we provide in this article. Our results support the claim that gestures not only reflect information in our mental representations, but can also influence gesturer's thought by adding action information to one's mental representation during problem solving (Tower of Hanoi). We show, however, that the effect of gestures on subsequent performance is not as strong as previously suggested. As opposed to what previous research indicates, gestures' facilitative effect through learning was not nullified by the potentially interfering effect on subsequent problem-solving performance of incompatible gestures. To conclude, using gestures during problem solving seems to provide more benefits than costs for task perform...
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#1Sotaro Kita (Warw.: University of Warwick)H-Index: 43
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People spontaneously produce gestures during speaking and thinking. We focus here on gestures that depict or indicate information related to the contents of concurrent speech or thought (i.e., representational gestures). Previous research indicates that such gestures have not only communicative functions, but also self-oriented cognitive functions. In this paper, we propose a new theoretical framework, the Gesture-for-Conceptualization Hypothesis, which explains the self-oriented functions of re...
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The coordination of speech with gesture elicits changes in speakers’ problem-solving behaviour beyond the changes elicited by the coordination of speech with action. Participants solved the Tower of Hanoi puzzle (TOH1); explained their solution using speech coordinated with either Gestures (Gesture + Talk) or Actions (Action + Talk), or demonstrated their solution using Actions alone (Action); then solved the puzzle again (TOH2). For some participants (Switch group), disc weights during TOH2 wer...
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When speakers gesture, their gestures shape their thoughts, but how this happens remains unclear. What kinds of feedback from gesture—visual, proprioceptive, or both— drive these cognitive effects? Here we address this question using a test bed previously employed to explore gesture’s cognitive effects (Beilock & Goldin-Meadow, 2010). Participants solved the Tower of Hanoi puzzle, explained their solutions in speech and gesture, and solved the puzzle a second time. Previous studies using this pa...
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Gestures are often considered to be demonstrative of the embodied nature of the mind (Hostetter and Alibali, 2008). In this article, we review current theories and research targeted at the intra-cognitive role of gestures. We ask the question how can gestures support internal cognitive processes of the gesturer? We suggest that extant theories are in a sense disembodied, because they focus solely on embodiment in terms of the sensorimotor neural precursors of gestures. As a result, current theor...
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Recent research has shown that people’s actions can influence how they think. A separate body of research has shown that the gestures people produce when they speak can also influence how they think. In this article, we bring these two literatures together to explore whether gesture has an effect on thinking by virtue of its ability to reflect real-world actions. We first argue that gestures contain detailed perceptual-motor information about the actions they represent, information often not fou...
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#1Sian L. Beilock (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 64
#2Susan Goldin-MeadowH-Index: 97
When people talk, they gesture. We show that gesture introduces action information into speakers’ mental representations, which, in turn, affect subsequent performance. In Experiment 1, participants solved the Tower of Hanoi task (TOH1), explained (with gesture) how they solved it, and solved it again (TOH2). For all participants, the smallest disk in TOH1 was the lightest and could be lifted with one hand. For some participants (no-switch group), the disks in TOH2 were identical to those in TOH...
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Speakers routinely gesture with their hands when they talk, and those gestures often convey information not found anywhere in their speech. This information is typically not consciously accessible, yet it provides an early sign that the speaker is ready to learn a particular task (S. Goldin-Meadow, 2003). In this sense, the unwitting gestures that speakers produce reveal their implicit knowledge. But what if a learner was forced to gesture? Would those elicited gestures also reveal implicit know...
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Co-speech gestures have been proposed to strengthen sensorimotor knowledge related to objects’ weight and manipulability. This pre-registered study (https://www.osf.io/9uh6q/) was designed to explore how gestures affect memory for sensorimotor information through the application of the visual-haptic size-weight illusion (i.e., objects weigh the same, but are experienced as different in weight). With this paradigm, a discrepancy can be induced between participants’ conscious illusory perception o...
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