Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 41–50 | Cite as

Touch, compliance, and interpersonal affect

  • Miles L. Patterson
  • Jack L. Powell
  • Mary G. Lenihan
Article

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of touch on compliance to a help request. The experimenter's initiation of touch during the request did increase compliance as measured by time spent scoring bogus personality inventories. The hypothesized role of attraction in mediating the touch-compliance link was not supported. Instead, touch may have served to indicate status or power differences that influenced subjects to comply. A sex of subject × sex of experimenter interaction was manifested in female subjects complying more to female experimenters than did subjects in any other sex pairing.

Keywords

Social Psychology Female Subject Personality Inventory Experimenter Interaction Power Difference 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baron, R.A. Invasions of personal space and helping: Mediating effects of invader's apparent need.Journal of Experimental Social psychology 1978,14 304–312.Google Scholar
  2. Brehm, J.A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  3. Brockner, J., Pressman, B., Cabitt, J., & Moran, P. Nonverbal intimacy, sex and compliance: A field study.Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1982,6 253–258.Google Scholar
  4. Bull, R., & Gibson-Robinson, E. The influence of eye-gaze, style of dress, and locality on the amounts of money donated to a charity.Human Relations 1986,34 845–905.Google Scholar
  5. Crowne, D.R., & Marlowe, D. A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology.Journal of Consulting Psychology 1960,24 349–354.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Edinger, J.A., & Patterson, M.L. Nonverbal involvement and social control.Psychological Bulletin 1983,93 30–56.Google Scholar
  7. Ellsworth, P.C., & Langer, E.J. Staring and approach: An interpretation of the stare as a nonspecific activator.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1976,33 117–122.Google Scholar
  8. Henley, N.M. Status and sex: Some touching observations.Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 1973,2 91–93.Google Scholar
  9. Henley, N.M.Body Politics: Power, sex, and nonverbal communication. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1977.Google Scholar
  10. Kleinke, C.L. Compliance to requests made by gazing and touching experimenters in field settings.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 1977,13 218–223.Google Scholar
  11. Kleinke, C.L. Interaction between gaze and legitimacy of request on compliance in a field setting.Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1980,5 3–12.Google Scholar
  12. Kleinke, C.L., & Singer, D.A. Influence of gaze on compliance with demanding and conciliatory requests in a field setting.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 1979,5 386–390.Google Scholar
  13. Major, B., & Heslin, R. Perceptions of cross-sex and same-sex nonreciprocal touch: It is better to give than to receive.Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1982,6 148–162.Google Scholar
  14. Mehrabian, A.Nonverbal communication. Chicago: Aldine, 1972.Google Scholar
  15. Snyder, M. Self-monitoring of expressive behavior.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1974,30 526–537.Google Scholar
  16. Watson, D., & Friend, R. Measurement of social-evaluative anxiety.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1969,33 448–457.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Willis, F.N., & Hamm, H.K. The use of interpersonal touch in securing compliance.Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1980,6 49–55.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miles L. Patterson
    • 1
  • Jack L. Powell
    • 1
  • Mary G. Lenihan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Missouri-St. LouisSt. Louis
  2. 2.the Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations