Haptics Touch is the most intimate form of communication
keeping in touch. • not being in touch with reality. • a touching gesture. • using the “soft touch” on someone Metaphors associated with touch
brush • caress • clinch • cuddle • embrace • grope • handshake • high five • hit • hold • hug • feel • fondle • kiss • knuckle bump • nibble • pat • pinch • poke • prod • push • reach around • rub • scratch • shove • slap • spank • squeeze • stroke • tickle “Touch has the power to repel, disgust, insult, threaten, console, reassure, love, and arouse” (Andersen, 2008) the importance of touch
Greeting rituals • Comfort, reassurance • Positive or negative affect • Communicating status, power • Conveying the level of intimacy functions of touch
Touch is the first sense humans develop. • Touch is essential for proper emotional and psychological development. • Monkeys raised in isolation from their mothers were maladjusted (Harlow, 1958) • Preemies who are touched grow faster. • In orphanages, untouched children die of merasmus (wasting away) (Montagu, 1978) • Tactile stimulation in the first years of live is necessary for brain development (Gerhart, 2004; Perry, 2002) touch in infancy
The communication context determines the meaning of touch. • pat on the back • reassuring or condescending? • punch in the arm • Playful or aggressive? • slap on the butt in sports • Okay on the field, not okay in the locker room. • Culture shapes the meaning assigned to touch • two males holding hands • shaking hands with the left hand • a male shaking a woman’s hand context is key
In public places, males initiate more touch than females (Hertenstein, Verkemp, et al., 2006) • In private settings, women initiate touch more often (Major et al., 1990) • Women use more non-hand touches than men (body and leg touches). • Men are more likely to initiate touch early in a relationship • Women are more likely to initiate touch in marriages Who touches whom?
Overweight people • receive fewer touches (Holmes, 2005) • People with disabilities • Touching a person’s wheelchair or other assistive device is inappropriate. • Touch avoiders • Some people are apprehensive about touching and being touched • Touch illiterates • Some people lack awareness of social norms governing touch More about who touches whom
Male Touchers • male friend • boss • father • teacher • uncle • Female Touchers • female friend • boss • mother • teacher • aunt • Female Touchees • arm • shoulder • forearm • knee • face • Male Touchees • arm • shoulder • forearm • knee • face Appropriate or inappropriate?
the dead fish • the bone crusher • lady fingers • the swoop in • the stiff arm • the two-hander • the pump handle • the saw • Alternatives • high five • knuckle bump • double-handed • cheek kiss types of handshakes
Avoid sweaty palms (handkerchief) • Stand up, walk around objects • Look at the person, not at their hand • Make eye contact, smile • Don’t shake with your left hand • Offer a firm shake, not overpowering • Use full palm to palm contact • Make full palm-to-palm contact • Remember the person’s name Avoid vice grips Save the double-hander for the U.N. Are you rescuing a princess or shaking hands? The “correct” Western handshake No thumb-wrestling, please
People with higher status tend to touch more than those with low status (Henley, 1973) • 88% of handshakes, in one study, were initiated by managers • In organizational settings, superiors touch subordinates more than subordinates touch superiors (Remland, 1981). • Higher status persons have more touch privilege than low status persons (Andersen, 2008) Status, power and touch
An airline passenger claims the armrest by bumping another passenger’s arm off. • A standing manager places both hands on a seated employee’s shoulders while saying, “You’re going to have that report for me by the end of the day, right?” • A boyfriend puts his arm around his girlfriend and pulls her in closer to him to signal possessiveness. • Touching people’s possessions—grabbing their cell phone or iPod exerting dominance, control
“Phone booth” study. A confederate intentionally left a coin in a phone booth for another person to find. • No touch condition: When the person found the coin, the confederate approached him/her and said “Did you happen to seem my coin in that phone booth? I need it to make another call?” • 23% compliance • Touch condition: the confederate touched the person lightly on the elbow for 1-3 seconds and asked if they found the coin. • 68% compliance • Cultural differences in replicating the phone booth study: Touch was most effective in low-touch cultures: • 22% compliance for Italians • 50% compliance for French • 72% compliance for Australians • 70% compliance for English • 85% compliance for Germans Touch and compliance gaining
Food servers and compliance gaining • Retail sales • Bystanders and helping behavior • Incidental touch in a library • Touch and requests for donations • Guidelines • make the touch light and brief • A count of “one Mississippi.” • look for signs of discomfort • moving farther away, crossing arms, buttoning coat • limit contact to the shoulder, forearm, elbow, or back. • Don’t touch bare shoulders or backs Touch and compliance gaining