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Handshake: Its Relation to First Impressions and Measured Personality Traits
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by Elizabeth M. Shipps and Harvey R. Freeman - Ohio Wesleyan University
Categories: Personality | Social
This study examined the relation of the handshake both to perceived personality characteristics in a first-impression situation and to actual measured personality traits. One hundred eight male and female college students completed the Eight State Questionnaire (8SQ), which measures 8 personality characteristics. Additionally, the students rated 2 other participants on 3 hand-shaking measures and also provided their impressions of these 2 participants on the same 8 personality traits measured by the 8SQ. For men, perceived arousal was positively correlated with a firm, warm, and dry handshake. For women, a firm, warm, and dry handshake was positively related to perceived arousal and extroversion and negatively related to perceived anxiety, depression, fatigue, guilt, and regression. Results are discussed in terms of the particular importance of the handshake to women. It is concluded that when a woman extends her hand to be shaken, it is important that it be firm, warm, and dry if she wants to make a positive first impression on others.