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).
Source: “An evaluation of touch on a large request: a field setting.” from Psychol Rep. 2002 Feb;90(1):267-9.
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