Touch Communicates Distinct Emotions

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Karen Sicard

General Psychology

Professor Michelle Garretson

Touch Communicates Distinct Emotions

Journal Summary

November 30, 2011

Touch Communicates Distinct Emotions

This article discusses touch, emotion, and communication. Past studies have focused solely on the emotional signaling of the face and voice. Through these three studies the authors investigate how different forms of touch communicate certain emotions. Our sense of touch is one of the most significant senses and is highly developed at birth. It is theorized in two ways; the first one being that touch communicates the Hedonic Tone Theory, relating to pleasure and claims that dimensions of feelings are based on a scale from positive to negative and touch intensifies or weakens the emotion. A positive emotion would express compassion and a negative emotion expresses hurt or anguish. The study is guided by the three motivations: modality (mode or manner), descriptions of physical signals used to communicate emotion, and discovering that humans have many emotions that are communicated through nonverbal behavior in.

Hypothesis

The purpose of this study was to determine if touch, (pulling, lifting, squeezing, stroking, etc.,) could communicate specific emotions such as anger, love, gratitude, sadness, disgust, etc. The study was to describe the forms of touch used, prove that emotions communicated by touch could be identified through observation, and that we can communicate more than just the emotions of facial and vocal communication. The authors expect to prove that positive emotions, altruism and cooperation, will be expressed by touch. Altruism and cooperation are said to be expressed through nonverbal displays of emotion such as gratitude, love, and sympathy. An altruistic person is unselfish and willing to help others without rewards and someone who shows cooperation works together toward a common purpose. This study will show that a person...
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