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Human Touch Studies

Original Piece by Avani | 2016

We’ve long heard about the pros of human contact, particularly in human development when we consider the differences between babies who are touched often and those who are barely touched at all.  Let’s look at a sample of psychological studies and what scientific research can tell us about the value of human touch.

1.) The Midas Touch study proved that when waitresses and waiters made contact with their customers (light hand or arm touch) their tips were consistently higher although there was no other change in the quality of their service.

2.) A Tactile Contact study stated that customers reported a higher sense of honesty, confidence and well-informedness, or in other words, a deeper level of trust when there was contact with the person making the sales pitch.  Particularly in the case of same-sex pairings. 

3.) In a study on compliance it was found that when a person is touched twice while you are making a request they are more likely to agree!  This study worked with simple favors (can you cover my yoga class?) as well as more complex requests (can you lend me your car?).

4.) A study that sought to find the connection between our ability to read emotion and touch found that we are very capable of correctly discerning someone’s emotion through touch alone…even when their face can not be seen!

5.) Touch can swing the gender or power balance! From the “Status and Sex” study, observations were made about who initiates touch first; almost always it is the person with the “higher status” who chooses when touch will be initiated.  Likewise, the person who initiates touch tends to gain power in any social circumstance.  Remember this when you need a boost in confidence during social interactions!

What has proven true for you in your experiences with human contact?

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