10-second life coach: How to get your own way
22:10 GMT, 21 October 2012
Try an experiment.
Hold out your thumb as if you are giving a thumbs-up, and then read the following:
'Anna wanted to move out of her rented flat – her contract had expired – but the landlord was refusing to return her deposit.
One day, she picked up the telephone, and shouted abuse at the landlord.'
A study has shown that holding your thumb up makes you feel positive about things
What do you think of Anna Now extend your middle finger as if you are giving someone the 'bird' and then read the paragraph again.
What do you think of Anna now
A study by the University of Michigan found that when people read the same story with their middle finger raised they thought Anna was aggressive.
When they read the story with their thumb up, they found her much more likeable.
Just a few seconds behaving as if you like someone can influence what you think about them.
In another study, students listened to a discussion on tuition fees. Some students were asked to nod their heads, others to move their heads from side to side.
They were then asked how much the fees should be. Those shaking their heads produced much lower estimates than those who had been nodding.
Want someone to agree with you Then nod your head. They will reciprocate and find themselves drawn to your way of thinking.
Rip It Up by Richard Wiseman is published by Pan Macmillan, priced 12.99. To order your copy for 10.99 call 0843 382 0000 or visit mailshop.co.uk/books