Japanese researchers Jun-ichiro Kawahara, associate professor at the Hokkaido University in Sapporo, and Takayuki Osugi, associate professor at Yamagata University in Yamagata, found that such popular non-verbal gesture as nodding can make you more popular.
For the study, the researchers asked 49 Japanese adults aged 18 and above to watch short clips of people nodding, shaking their heads, or staying still. Having analyzed the received data, the researchers found that nodding figures were 30% more likable and 40% more approachable than the motionless people or those shaking their heads.
Jun-ichiro Kawahara says: “Generalizing these results requires a degree of caution because computer-generated female faces were used to manipulate head motions in our experiments. Further study involving male figures, real faces, and observers from different cultural backgrounds, is needed to apply these findings to real-world situations.”