Interviewing Users is now available. Get your copy here!
In Chapter 2, I talk about how body language (see good and bad examples here and here) not only signals that you are listening to your interviewee, it also signals you to listen better. I based on this on some writing by Malcolm Gladwell (in Blink, but originally in The Naked Face) about how our physical self can induce changes in our emotional selves.
Now there’s more research to back up that claim. From this WSJ article
Researchers are finding that wearing a smile brings certain benefits, like slowing down the heart and reducing stress. This may even happen when people aren’t aware they are forming a smile. The work follows research that established that the act of smiling can make you feel happier. Frowning also may have a health effect: Preventing people from frowning, such as with the use of Botox, can help alleviate depression.
“You can influence mental health by what you do with your face, whether you smile more or frown less,” says Eric Finzi, a dermatologic surgeon and co-author of the study on frowning.
Bonus: the article includes this compelling image, explaining “Holding the sticks in the mouth activates the same muscles we use for smiling.”