The NonVerbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs & Body Language Cues


Posture. To rest with the torso in an upright position and the body supported largely on the buttocks.

Usage: The manner of sitting at a conference table, e.g., transmits information about one's status (mental, physical, and social), feelings, and unvoiced opinionsattitudes, and moods.

Primatology. Sitting is the usually favored position of primates.

Salesmanship. "Do not wait to be asked to be seated" (Delmar 1984:42).

RESEARCH REPORTS1. The most detailed research on sitting positions is by the anthropologist Gordon W. Hewes (1957). 2. Male, North-American college students express uneasiness with changes in sitting posture (e.g., by assuming a more direct body orientation; Vrugt, Anneke, and Kerkstra 1984). 3. Female, North-American college students show uneasiness by sitting still and arm-crossing (Vrugt, Anneke, and Kerkstra 1984). 4. In chairs and couches, a. ankle-ankle legs cross ("I am politely relaxed"; worldwide), b. knee-knee legs cross ("I am very relaxed"; worldwide), c. ankle-knee legs cross ("I am assertively relaxed"; widespread), and d. legs twine ("I am slinkily relaxed"; widespread) have been identified as typical human sitting postures (Morris 1994:152-54).

Neuro-notesAs consumer products, couches are designed to recall the primate lap's protopathic softness, and to stimulate pleasure areas for grooming, childcare, and sexuality in the mammalian brain's cingulate gyrus.

See also LOVE SIGNALS III (E-Commentary I).

Detail of photo (source unknown)