Eye contact and body language have long been associated with tell-tale signs of cheating, nervousness, sexual attraction, and lying.
But Professor Geoffrey Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester, England, said that many people will often have no idea about the secret messages their feet are giving out.
According to the research compiled on behalf of shoemakers Jeffery West, if a woman is attracted to someone and is laughing, her foot will move away from her body and she will have an open leg posture. If her feet are crossed, or tucked under her, then she isn't attracted to you. Men, on the other hand, don't signal sexual attraction with their feet.
Liars keep their feet unnaturally still, to try and distract people away from their fibbing. Women do judge men on their shoes- how stylish, clean, expensive, and whether they match their outfit. If a man is nervous, he will increase his foot movement. Women will do the opposite and keep their feet still.
Alpha males and females have a low level of foot movement because they like to dominate and control the conversation. The same applies to their body movements. Extroverts do the same, but for different reasons, and introverts have frequent foot movement. Arrogant people keep their bodies in check and have less foot movement.
Professor Beattie, resident psychologist on the Big Brother shows said, "Whilst people might know what their facial expressions or hands might be imparting, they will have no idea whether their feet are moving or the messages their feet are sending out."
The secret language of the feet reveals a lot about our personality, what we think of the person we're talking to, and even our emotional and psychological state. "Compiling this research has been a revelation. The reason our feet may be giving us away is that they are part of the body from which we have the least internal feedback," said Dr. Beattie.
"The weird thing about feet is that most people know what they are doing with their facial expressions, they may or may not know what they are doing with their hands but unless we specifically think about it, we know nothing about what we are doing with our feet.
"People can mask smiles, or mask what they are doing with their eyes, but feet are actually a bit easier to read because people don't know what they are doing with them. I've tied together several decades of psychological research looking at the feet and what they can tell us and I've found a number of different things.
"Firstly, attraction- and how people behave when they laugh. If you are meeting someone for the first time, laughter is not necessarily a good thing. What psychologists argue with laughter is that they are ambiguous signals- some psychologists think it is a whole series of signals which determine whether the laughter is a good thing. People can be laughing at you, or with you. If a woman's feet move when she laughs, it is one of the most powerful signals that she likes you.
"With men, feet aren't so important. With men it's more head tilting. I think this study will make more people more consciously aware of what they are doing with their feet now. It's really interesting and studying people's feet movement is actually very accurate."
Jeffery West co-founder Guy West said, "Shoemaking is our life and we've both been fascinated with what your feet and footwear say. It's the first thing we notice when we meet people so we were delighted to team up with Geoffrey and uncover the science behind it."
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