ERIC Number: ED408648
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
To Touch or Not To Touch: An Examination of Tactile Communication between College Student and Professor.
Sanderson, Cami M.; Jorgensen, Jerry D.
A study examined the perceptions of appropriateness regarding four types of touch between college students and professors. Subjects included 382 students, 108 men and 202 women, enrolled in a basic speech communication course at a large midwestern university. Using video depictions, an analysis of variance was conducted exploring differences in responses using gender and dyadic combinations. The four categories of touch were support, compliance, attention-getting, and affection. The arm region around the elbow was the area for the placement of touch used in the study. Results indicated that differences exist between male and female respondents based on the type of touch being used and, when compared with the other categories, the support touch was viewed as the most appropriate by both males and females. Males found the attention-getting and the compliance touches as less appropriate than females did. Both males and females found the affection touch as the least appropriate. Also identified were differences in whether touches originated from a male or female professor to a male or female student. Findings suggest that differences do exist. Future research could examine different relationships i.e.,, other personal or professional relationships. Different categories of touches could also be examined, and more contextual study on the issue of touch is needed. (Contains 41 references and 2 tables of data.) (Author/CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A