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The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: How touching gets people to do your bidding.

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflMarch 17, 2011 4:00 AM

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An evaluation of touch on a large request: a field setting.

"The effect of touch on compliance to a request has traditionally been tested with small solicitation (answer to a small questionnaire, give a dime to a confederate ....). In our experiment a larger request was evaluated. Passersby, 53 men and 67 women, were asked by two confederates to look after a large and very excited dog for 10 minutes because each wanted to go into a pharmacy where animals were prohibited. In half of the cases, subjects were touched during the request. Analysis showed that, when touched, 55% of the subjects agreed with the request whereas 35% only in the no-touch control condition agreed. This finding indicates that touch was positively associated with the subjects' compliance (p<.03)."

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Photo: flickr/Terwilliger911

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