ERIC Number: ED312590
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Reactions to Others' Intimacy.
Neufeldt, David E.; Olinger, Evanelle J.
Research using behavioral measures has indicated that men react less positively to the touch of a same sex individual than women, that both men and women react more positively to the touch of an opposite sex individual than to the touch of a same sex individual, and that men and women do not differ in their reactions to opposite sex touch. This study was undertaken to determine whether these findings would hold true using attitudinal measures (observing someone being touched rather than actually being touched). Subjects were 15 male and 15 female employees of a data processing service. Subjects examined a photograph of a man and woman standing at a normal conversation distance and were told to consider this photograph as a 4 on a 1 to 7 scale. Subjects were shown eight additional photographs and asked to rate them as being more negative or positive than the first photograph. These photographs varied by gender of individuals in the photograph and by degree of touching (shaking hands, hugging). Findings were consistent with previous behavioral studies in that high intimacy appeared to be more pleasant in the eyes of others when the participants were of the opposite sex than when they were of the same sex. Reactions to same sex intimacy was affected by the sex of the observer and high same sex intimacy led to less positive ratings than did low same sex intimacy. The significant findings were due to hugging males being viewed more negatively by males than any other type of interaction. The results support the contention that people hold a less conservative attitude when observing others interact in a touching situation than when they are the object of the touch. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (35th, Houston, TX, April 13-15, 1989).