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Thinking with Your Hands

The Surprising Science Behind How Gestures Shape Our Thoughts

Regular Price $30

Regular Price $38 CAD

Regular Price $30

Regular Price $38 CAD

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On Sale

Jun 13, 2023

Page Count

288 Pages

ISBN-13

9781541600805

Description

An eminent psychologist argues that gesture, long overlooked, is essential to how we think  

We all know people who talk with their hands—but do they know what they’re saying with them? Our gestures can reveal and contradict us, and express thoughts we may not even know we’re thinking. 

In Thinking with Your Hands, esteemed cognitive psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow argues that gesture is vital to how we think, learn, and communicate. She shows us, for instance, how the height of our gestures can reveal unconscious bias, or how the shape of a student’s gestures can track their mastery of a new concept—even when they’re still giving wrong answers. She compels us to rethink everything from how we set child development milestones, to what’s admissible in a court of law, to whether Zoom is an adequate substitute for in-person conversation.  

Sweeping and ambitious, Thinking with Your Hands promises to transform the way we think about language and communication.

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Praise

“Susan Goldin-Meadow has astonished the scientific community time and again with her pathbreaking discoveries. Now she has written a tour de force for the rest of the world to benefit from. Thinking With Your Hands is one of those rare books that doesn’t just entertain and inform but changes the way you think about yourself and the people around you. It should be required reading for anyone who has ever used their hands to convey an idea or witnessed someone else do the same, which is to say, all of us.”

Ethan Kross, bestselling author of Chatter
“This fascinating book will make you watch others’ hands—and be aware of your own. You will think differently about the nature of language, the nature of communication, and about the many ways that gestures can change thought, your own, and that of others.”—Barbara Tversky, author of Mind in Motion
Thinking With Your Hands provides a fascinating look into the universal human phenomenon of gesturing, in both children and adults. Gesture is a critically important component of human communication, and this book is a wonderful and enjoyable contribution to its understanding. I highly recommend it.”—Henry L. Roediger III, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
Thinking With Your Hands gives us an inspirational overview of a lifetime of work on an aspect of human behavior that is fundamental to who we are as a species. With humor and humility, Susan Goldin-Meadow introduces us to the inner workings of gesture and the tireless efforts of those scientists trying to understand it. Richly illustrating her explanations with a huge array of thought-provoking examples, she reveals how our hands help us think and convey information about our unspoken inner world; what gesture can tell us about the evolution of language; and how understanding gesture could help us become better parents, doctors, and teachers. This is an accessible, eye-opening, and endlessly fascinating account from the undisputed authority in the field.”
 —Simon Kirby, Professor of Language Evolution, University of Edinburgh
“Young children communicate in rich ways with gestures before language. With the acquisition of language, their gestures take on new functions - not just for communication but for supporting thinking. Susan Goldin-Meadow’s new book tells this story, much of it based on her own research, with both wisdom and wit.”—Michael Tomasello, Duke University
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