Student Life

Shake, Shake, Shake Your Hands

Shake that – hand. Studies from the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience have shown that shaking hands causes a more positive social interaction to take place than one where hands were not shook in the beginning of the meeting.


Researchers followed the brain activity of people as they watched videos of non-verbal interactions and rated them. During the point of interaction where hands were shaken, people’s brain showed activity increased in the reward-processing region. This shows a link between the positive message created by a handshake and social evaluation, researchers say. Crazy right?

Shaking hands also is a great sign of positive body language! If you look back at history, shaking hands began as a peace offering, proving you didn’t have any weapons. Since then, it still has been seen as a way of breaking down barriers, and creating a more comfortable environment for you and whomever you’re meeting. So, if you don’t shake hands with the person, even in more informal environments, it will take longer to create a warm and safe atmosphere!

Shake hands in almost every meeting situation for better results! Best advice – if meeting someone new be sure to shake hands at least four to six feet away from the person, to not make them feel crowded or surprised! Lastly, in order to avoid an awkward or weak handshake, just point the fingers down and in to the palm of the hand and you will get a successful shake.

By Aisling Williams

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