NEW YORK, May 13 (UPI) — People who were touched felt more secure and took bigger risks than those who weren’t, but only by a woman, U.S. and Canadian researchers said.
Jonathan Levav of Columbia University in New York and Jennifer J. Argo of the University of Alberta conducted the study involving risks, such as investing money or taking a gamble after they were greeted with a light, comforting touch on the shoulder; a handshake’ or no physical contact at all by either a female or male experimenter. The study participants also completed a questionnaire.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, found those touched felt more secure and took bigger risks than those who weren’t, but only if touched by a woman and especially if the women touched the back instead of shaking hands. Male touching had no impact.
The researchers speculated that the comfort from the touch of a woman may hark back to mothers who patted their children to comfort them.
The findings suggested a woman’s touch can make people feel more secure and more willing to take risks, the study said.
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