Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 49-55

First online:

The use of interpersonal touch in securing compliance

  • Frank N. WillisJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Missouri
  • , Helen K. HammAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Missouri

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Direct gaze and a personal approach distance have been shown to increase compliance in a face to face situation. In the present study touch was varied along with gender and difficulty of request to assess the effects upon rate of compliance. The results indicated that touch was important in securing compliance, moreso if the request was more difficult, and most important in securing same gender compliance.