Do people gesture more when instructed to?
Does being instructed to gesture encourage those with low gesture rates to produce more gestures? If participants do gesture more when asked to, do they produce the same kinds of gestures? Does this vary as a function of the type of discourse being produced? We asked participants to take part in three tasks, a quasi-conversational task, a spatial problem solving task, and a narrative task, in two phases. In the first they received no instruction, and in the second they were asked to gesture. The instruction to gesture did not change gesture rate or gesture type across phases. We suggest that while explicitly asking participants to gesture may not always achieve higher gesture rates, it also does not negatively impact natural behavior.
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