Hand Gestures

READING PASSAGE

Questions 1-7

Look at the following experiment versions, A–C, and the list of descriptions (Questions 1–7) below.
Match each version of the experiment with the correct description.
Type the correct letter, A–C, in blanks 1–7.

A. Version 1

B. Version 2

C. Both

List of Descriptions

1.  The idea of conducting this experiment version was formed after a chat at a conference.

2.  This experiment version was announced in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

3.  All of the volunteers used their hand gestures when they explained the way they solved the problem.

4.  The participants who used only one hand in gestures did worse when the disk weight was changed.

5.  In this experiment version, the weights of disks were changed.

6.  The participants who did not use their hands when talking about the solutions to the problem performed both times equally well.

7.  This experiment version shows that gesture has effects on your thought.

1. Paragraph A says After a chat at a conference instigated by Ed Diener, the founding editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science, they designed a study together to look at how gesture affects thought.” This sentence means that the idea of conducting both versions of the experiments was formed after a chat at the conference.

2. Paragraph B says “For version 1 of the study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Beilock and Goldin-Meadow had volunteers solve a problem known as the Tower of Hanoi.”

3. Paragraph B says “After they finished, the volunteers were taken into another room and asked to explain the way they solved the problem, which is virtually impossible to explain without using your hands.

4. Paragraph C says “People who had used one hand in their gestures when talking about moving the small disk were in trouble when that disk became heavier. They took longer to complete the task than people who used two hands in their gesture.”

5. Paragraph B says “For version 1 of the study... But there was a trick: for some people, the weight of the disks had secretly been changed.”

Paragraph D says “In version 2 of the experiment, published in Perspectives in Psychological Science, the volunteers were not asked to explain their solutions; instead, they solved the puzzle a second time before the disk weights were changed.

6. Paragraph D says “The people who gestured did worse after the disk weights switched, but the people who didn’t gesture and just moved the disks did not, in other words, they did just as well as before.”

7. Paragraph C says “Besides, the more one-handed gestures they used, the longer they took. This shows that how your gesture affects how you think.”

Questions 8-9

Complete the following sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.

8. Goldin-Meadow and Beilock been carrying out experiments to assist children in comprehending    while they learn maths, physics and chemistry.

Paragraph F says “This could be useful in education. Goldin-Meadow and Beilock have been working on helping children to understand abstract concepts in mathematics, physics, and chemistry by using gesture.”

9. According to Beilock, if children gesture about what they are learning, their   might change.

Paragraph F says “I’m really interested in whether getting kids to experience some of these actions or gesture about them might change the brain processes they use to understand these concepts.”

Question 10

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

10. What is the best title for the Reading Passage?

A. Gesturing about a story helps you remember it longer.
B. Gesturing while talking helps change your thoughts.
C. Gesturing is explained after two versions of an experiment.
D. Gesturing allows children to understand concepts in maths.

The caption next to the picture says “They provide a visual clue to our thoughts and, a new theory suggests that we may even change our thoughts by grounding them in action.

Paragraph A says “Beilock’s work on how action affects thought and Goldin-Meadow’s work on gesture and the whole passage explains this idea.

Vocabulary Review

I. Scan the passage for the following words (on the left) and read the sentences containing them carefully.
Match these words with their definitions (on the right).

Words

Definitions

1. conference (n) a) to produce a change in somebody/something
2. affect (v) b) the powerful effect that something has on somebody/something
3. impact (n) c) a large official meeting, usually lasting for a few days, at which people with the same work or interests come together to discuss their views
4. solve (v) d) a movement that you make with your hands, your head or your face to show a particular meaning
5. gesture (n) e) to find a way of dealing with a problem or difficult situation

1.   2.   3.   4.   5.  

Vocabulary Review

II. Complete the following sentences using the suitable words in the box below.
Sometimes you have to change the form of the words to make them grammatically correct in the sentences.

   impact        gesture       conference     solve       affect

1. The hotel is used for exhibitions,    and social events.

2. Attempts are being made to    the problem of waste disposal.

3. Globalization has made a big    on the development of society.

4. They communicated entirely by   .

5. The supervisors are conducting the investigation into how transport    tourism.

READING PASSAGE

Below is the Reading Passage with more useful words and phrases highlighted in blue.

Gesturing while talking helps change your thoughts


Sometimes it's almost impossible to talk without using your hands. These gestures seem to be important to how we think. They provide a visual clue to our thoughts and, a new theory suggests that we may even change our thoughts by grounding them in action.

          University of Chicago psychological scientists Sian Beilock and Susan Goldin-Meadow are bringing together two lines of research: Beilock’s work on how action affects thought and Goldin-Meadow’s work on gesture. After a chat at a conference instigated by Ed Diener, the founding editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science, they designed a study together to look at how gesture affects thought.

          For version 1 of the study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Beilock and Goldin-Meadow had volunteers solve a problem known as the Tower of Hanoi. It is a game in which you have to move the number of disks from one peg to another. After they finished, the volunteers were taken into another room and asked to explain the way they solved the problem, which is virtually impossible to explain without using your hands. Then the volunteers tried the task again. But there was a trick: for some people, the weight of the disks had secretly been changed, i.e., the smallest disk, which used to be light enough to move with one hand, now needed two hands.

          People who had used one hand in their gestures when talking about moving the small disk were in trouble when that disk became heavier. They took longer to complete the task than people who used two hands in their gesture. Besides, the more one-handed gestures they used, the longer they took. This shows that how your gesture affects how you think.  Goldin-Meadow and Beilock suggest that the volunteers started the process of solving the puzzle again in their heads by gesturing about it.

          In version 2 of the experiment, published in Perspectives in Psychological Science, the volunteers were not asked to explain their solutions; instead, they solved the puzzle a second time before the disk weights were changed. However, moving the disks didn’t affect performance in the way that gesturing about the disks did. The people who gestured did worse after the disk weights switched, but the people who didn’t gesture and just moved the disks did not, in other words, they did just as well as before. “Gesture is a special case of action. You might think it would have less effect because it does not have a direct impact on the world,” says Goldin-Meadow. Nevertheless, she and Beilock think it may actually be having a stronger effect, “because gesturing about an act requires you to represent or show the act. You aren’t just reaching out and handling the thing you’re talking about; you have to learn from it, indicating it by a movement of your hands.”

          In the article published in Perspectives in Psychological Science, the two authors review the research on action, gesture, and thought. Gestures make thought concrete, bringing movement to the activity that’s going on in your mind. 

          This could be useful in education. Goldin-Meadow and Beilock have been working on helping children to understand abstract concepts in mathematics, physics, and chemistry by using gesture. “When you’re talking about angular momentum and torque, you’re talking about definitions that have to do with action,” Beilock says. “I’m really interested in whether getting kids to experience some of these actions or gesture about them might change the brain processes they use to understand these concepts.” But even in math where the definitions have little to do with action, gesturing helps children learn – maybe because the gestures themselves are based on actions.

 
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