, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 89-98

Nonverbal Encouragement of Participation in a Course: the Effect of Touching

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that touching leads to positive behavior, particularly in an educational context. A new experiment was carried out in which students were encouraged to intervene in a course by demonstrating the solution of a statistical exercise on the blackboard. According to the experiment, students were or were not briefly touched on the forearm by the teacher during the corrective exercise. After that, the teacher asked his students to demonstrate the exercise on the blackboard. The results showed that touching increases the volunteers’ rate. Various explanations (familiarity, status and mood) were suggested to explain such results.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.