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

By ncbi rofl | March 16, 2011 7:00 pm

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).”

Photo: flickr/Terwilliger911

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: NCBI ROFL, rated G, told you so
  • Vancouver portrait photographer

    Touch is also the most powerful way to convey emotion in a photograph.

  • Matt B.

    Was there a gender correlation, because if a man touched me while requesting something, I’d be less likely to comply. But a woman…

    On the other hand, when I was working in a book store an old woman I was helping acted so familiar (by rubbing my back) I almost yelled, “Do I know you?!”


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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