The Benefits of Touching

‘Touchier’ basketball teams and players (those who bump, hug and high five the most) are more successful than those who limit their non-playing physical contact. Similarly, higher satisfaction has been reported in romantic relationships in which the partners touch more.

Just two of the findings from research looking at the importance of touching in relationships.

Students who received a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher were nearly twice as likely to volunteer in class as those who did not, studies have found. A sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long, compared with estimates from people who were untouched. […] A massage from a loved one can not only ease pain but also soothe depression and strengthen a relationship.

via @charliehoehn

1 thought on “The Benefits of Touching

  1. david

    Based on the examples you cite in the first paragraph, I was totally calling bullshit on this. This paragraph makes me a little less dubious, but still gives me pause:

    To correct for the possibility that the better teams touch more often simply because they are winning, the researchers rated performance based not on points or victories but on a sophisticated measure of how efficiently players and teams managed the ball — their ratio of assists to giveaways, for example. And even after the high expectations surrounding the more talented teams were taken into account, the correlation persisted. Players who made contact with teammates most consistently and longest tended to rate highest on measures of performance, and the teams with those players seemed to get the most out of their talent.

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