The NonVerbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues

Decision Grip

Hand position1. A manner of grasping an object securely between the inner surfaces of the fingers (i.e., the tactile pads) and the palm. 2. A "proprietary" clasp usually intermediate between the precision grip and the power grip3. A clear indication that a customer has decided to purchase (i.e., to take ownership of) a hand-held consumer product such as a book, magazine, or greeting card.

Usage I: The decision grip is a nonverbal sign showing that one's mind has decided to take possession of an artifact or object. After an exploratory waiting period (reflected by holding a consumer product, e.g., in the tentative precision grip), we unwittingly grasp the item in a decision grip--which maximizes contact between the item itself and the sensitive tactile pads--as if it were already a personal possession or a belonging.

Usage II: When a larger consumer product, such as a computer scanner or a table lamp, is placed in a shopping cart, the prospective owner may grasp the cart's handrail in a decision (rather than in the usual power) grip. Holding the cart in this manner reflects the emotional power exerted by consumer products.

Neuro-notes. Using our sensitive fingertips as tactile antennae, we initially probe an object with the precision grip, keeping it "at a distance" (because, psychologically, it is not yet "ours"). But as the mind takes ownership, we clutch the product between our fingers and palm in a proprietary clasp before taking full acquisition at the checkstand. Handling objects in the decision grip stimulates tactile sensors (e.g., for pleasurable "soft," or protopathic, touch) and pleasure areas linked to grooming centers of the mammalian brain's cingulate gyrus.