Do you tend to be touchy-feely? Are you comfortable with a pat on the back, a gentle hold on an elbow or a high-five?
When we touch, how often we touch and how we respond to touch is influenced by a wide variety of factors. Each culture has varying norms about what is acceptable social touch. Families and social groups within a culture have their own norms. A 2012 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, for example, found that men are more likely to touch women than vice versa.
And each individual has a personality style that may influence their comfort level with touch in social situations.
Social touching (for example, a pat on the shoulder) is an important part of our interactions with others. It can be calming, create bonds, express concern and solidarity, reduce anxiety and provide reassurance.
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