Mind

Danger! Car Salesmen Now in Possession of "Perfect Handshake" Equation

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaJul 19, 2010 4:53 PM

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To seal more car deals, Chevrolet UK looked to arm its salesmen with the perfect weapon of confidence: an unstoppable handshake. Here's the secret they received from Geoffrey Beattie, Head of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester:

PH (Perfect Handshake)= √ (e^2 + ve^2)(d^2) + (cg + dr)^2 + π{(4<s>^2)(4<p>^2)}^2 + (vi + t + te)^2 + {(4<c>^2 )(4<du>^2)}^2

We hope (and suspect) the training posters and equation, supposedly meant for Chevrolet-sellers, are meant for publicity and are not a real attempt to improve customer relations. The variables, as outlined in a Chevrolet press release:

(e) is eye contact (1=none; 5=direct) 5; (ve) is verbal greeting (1=totally inappropriate; 5=totally appropriate) 5; (d) is Duchenne smile - smiling in eyes and mouth, plus symmetry on both sides of face, and slower offset (1=totally non-Duchenne smile (false smile); 5=totally Duchenne) 5; (cg) completeness of grip (1=very incomplete; 5=full) 5; (dr) is dryness of hand (1=damp; 5=dry) 4; (s) is strength (1= weak; 5=strong) 3; (p) is position of hand (1=back towards own body; 5=other person's bodily zone) 3; (vi) is vigour (1=too low/too high; 5=mid) 3; (t) is temperature of hands (1=too cold/too hot; 5=mid) 3; (te) is texture of hands (5=mid; 1=too rough/too smooth) 3; (c) is control (1=low; 5=high) 3; (du) is duration (1= brief; 5=long) 3.

The press release details some pretty common sense advice: avoid sweaty palms; don't squeeze too hard or hold on too long; make eye contact. But putting the formula into action might be tough; if actually meant to inspire confidence (which the release says 70 percent of hand-shakers are lacking), doing the math before every hand-to-hand may instead lead to more perfect head scratching. Related content: Discoblog: Alien Math Shows Why Grad Student Doesn't Have a Girlfriend Discoblog: How to Make People Believe in ESP: Tell Them Scientists Think It’s Bogus Discoblog: New Study: If a Dude Sounds Strong, He Probably Is Discoblog: Can a Brain Scan Predict Your Behavior Better Than You Can? 80beats: Want Someone to Take a Decision Seriously? Hand Them Something Heavy

Image: flickr / Aidan Jones

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