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


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.


Social Psychology Female Subject Personality Inventory Experimenter Interaction Power Difference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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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

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