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During my college days at the sorority...I was known as the "Hand Shake Nazi". During summer recruitment I was always tapped to enforce a firm, yet welcoming, hand shake on all the members when greeting possible members. I am, clearly, a believer in a hand shake is your first impression and it's either done firmly with integrity...or limply with venality.


I have daily migraine and cannot control my body temperature. Sometimes my hands are freezing cold, other times they are hot and sweaty. I hate to shake hands. Any advice?


Hi Professor Sutton,

Very interesting study. I had a quick question: has the positive/negative effect of handshaking been studied in different cultural contexts? I think its clear that handshaking is very important in traditional American business culture, but is it equally as such in European, Asian, or African cultures?

The reason I ask is that I think we often take entirely for granted interpersonal cultural expectations when meeting people from different parts of the world. In America, a candidate is expected to "assert" themselves to the interviewer. One could imagine many other cultures when the candidate is expected to show deference and respect to the interviewer. In those cultures, a firm handshake could be a real turnoff.

courtney benson

As a successful women who in business I have always had a firm handshake and felt that it was the most natural thing to do. I've always been curious about what foreign male executives think of American business women's handshakes because they have not been brought up the way Americans have. Any studies on this?

Ares Vista

Interesting post, and it's amazing how much a handshake can influence someone's impression. This information is everywhere, yet everyday I meet someone that gives me a 'dead hand'. It's true that this can have a negative effect on a person's overall image, but I have never based a hiring decision on a grip.

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