Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

A woman’s touch.

Professors Jonathan Levav and Jennifer J Argo investigated the effect of touch on feelings of security and risk-taking in adults. Previous work has shown that touch can increase both in infants.

The participants were greeted with no touch, a handshake or a light touch on the shoulder, by either a male or female assistant.

Touching by a male made no difference to either feelings of security or risk-taking.

Touching by a female did make a significant difference to both, with the biggest increase for the shoulder touch.

The authors suggest “a simple pat on the back of the shoulder, by a female, in a way that connotes support may evoke feelings that are similar to the sense of security afforded by a mother’s comforting touch in infancy.”

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May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Gender, Jennifer J Argo, Jonathan Levav, Positive Psychology, Smoking

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