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Sense of Touch Affects Our World View

Study Shows Link Between Sense of Touch and the Decisions People Make

Physical Experiences Influence Behavior continued...

The researchers write that first impressions drawn from the tactile environment "may be especially important for negotiators, pollsters, job seekers and others interested in interpersonal communication. The use of 'tactile tactics' may represent a new frontier in social influence and communication."

In the series of experiments, researchers studied how objects' weight, texture and hardness could unconsciously influence judgments about unrelated events.

In another test of hardness, people were asked to handle either a soft blanket or a hard wooden block before being told an ambiguous story about a workplace interaction between an employee and a supervisor. Those bosses who touched the block judged the employee as more rigid and strict.

The experiments, involving about 300 people, involved mock price negotiations, puzzle playing with smooth or rough pieces, getting participants to sit in hard or soft chairs, and asking some to try to guess the secret of a magic act.

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