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The Communication of Emotion via Touch

Matthew J. Hertenstein, Rachel Holmes, and Margaret McCullough


DePauw Universit

Dacher !eltner
Universit of California, "er#ele
The stud of emotional communication has focused $redominantl on the facial and vocal channels %ut has ignored the tactile channel. Partici$ants in the current stud were allowed to touch an unac&uainted $artner on the whole %od to communicate distinct emotions. 'f interest was how accuratel the $erson %eing touched decoded the intended emotions without seeing the tactile stimulation. The data indicated that anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, and s m$ath were decoded at greater than chance levels, as well as ha$$iness and sadness, ( emotions that have not %een shown to %e communicated % touch to date. Moreover, fine)grained coding documented s$ecific touch %ehaviors associated with different emotions. The findings are discussed in terms of their contri%ution to the stud of emotion)related communication. Keywords: touch, emotion, tactile, communication

Touch has %een descri%ed as the most fundamental means of contact with the world *"arnett, +,-(. and the sim$lest and most straightforward of all sensor s stems */eldard, +,01.. Touch is vital in several domains of the infant2s and child2s life, including social, cognitive, and $h sical develo$ment *e.g., 3ield, (11+.. Touch continues to $la a central role in adulthood when flirting, e4$ressing $ower, soothing, $la ing, and maintaining $ro4imit %etween child and careta#er *Ei%l)Ei%esfeldt, +,5,.. 6s with humans, touch serves man functions in nonhuman $rimates. Different s$ecies groom to reconcile following aggressive encounters, to initiate se4ual encounters, to reward coo$erative acts of food sharing, to maintain $ro4imit with careta#ers, and to sooth cons$ecifics during stress *de 7aal, +,5,.. Des$ite the im$ortance of touch in several #e domains of social life, its role in the communication of emotion has received little attention com$ared with facial and vocal dis$la s of emotion *8tac#, (11+.. 9n fact, one finds virtuall no mention of touch in reference wor#s in the field of affective science *e.g., Davidson, 8cherer, : /oldsmith, (11;.. 'n the %asis of the limited research that has %een conducted on touch and emotion, two general claims have %een made regarding the role of touch in emotional communication. 3irst, touch has %een claimed to communicate the hedonic value of emotions *i.e., either $ositive or negative< Jones : =ar%rough, +,5>< !na$$ : Hall, +,,-.. 8econd, touch was thought to merel am$lif the intensit of emotional dis$la s from the face and voice *!na$$ : Hall, +,,-.. Recentl , Hertenstein, !eltner, 6$$, "ulleit, and Jas#ol#a *(110. documented that strangers in 8$ain and the United 8tates could accuratel decode distinct emotions when the were touched % another $erson. These findings challenge claims that touch solel serves as a general hedonic signaling s stem or an intensifier of other emotion signaling s stems. 9n this research, two strangers interacted in a room where the were se$arated % a %arrier. The could not see one another, %ut the could reach each other through a hole in the %arrier. 'ne $erson touched the other on the forearm, instructed to conve each of +( different emotions. 6fter each touch, the $erson touched had to choose which emotion s?he thought the encoder was communicating. The results indicated that $artici$ants could decode anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, and s m$ath at a%ove)chance levels, %ut not tactile e4$ressions of ha$$iness, sur$rise, sadness, em%arrassment, env , and $ride. 6ccurac rates ranged from @5A to 5;A for the accuratel decoded emotions. 9n addition, e4tensive %ehavioral coding identified s$ecific tactile %ehaviors s$ecific to each emotion. 3or e4am$le, s m$ath was associated with stro#ing and $atting, anger was associated with hitting and s&ueeBing, disgust was associated with a $ushing motion, and fear was associated with trem%ling. The $rimar $ur$ose of the current investigation was to significantl e4tend our understanding of the degree to which touch can communicate distinct emotions. 'ur stud was guided % four motivations. 3irst, the current stud $rovides greater ecological validit than $revious studies. 9n Hertenstein, !eltner, and colleagues2 *(110.

studies, $artici$ants communicating emotion were allowed to touch the other mem%er of the d ad onl on the %ottom half of the armCa constrained conte4t. 9n the current stud , encoders *those attem$ting to communicate the emotions. were allowed to touch the other mem%er of the d ad *i.e., the decoder. an where on the %od that was a$$ro$riate.+ This more closel a$$ro4imates how $eo$le rel on touch to communicate in more naturalistic settings *Jones : =ar%rough, +,5>..
Di#e "anse and 8cherer *+,,0., we use encoder and decoder %ecause the connote the research method and the underl ing $rocess< no inference should %e made that a EcodeF e4ists in the emotional signal. Matthew J. Hertenstein, Rachel Holmes, and Margaret McCullough, De$artment of Ps cholog , DePauw Universit < Dacher !eltner, De$artment of Ps cholog , Universit of California, "er#ele . This research was su$$orted % DePauw Universit 2s 3acult Develo$ment Program as well as the Dr. 7illiam 6sher fund to su$$ort student and facult research. Corres$ondence concerning this article should %e addressed to Matthew J. Hertenstein, DePauw Universit , Harrison Hall, /reencastle, 9G @0+;>. E)mailH mhertensteinIde$auw.edu
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Emotion J (11, 6merican Ps chological 6ssociation (11,, Kol. ,, Go. @, >00L>-; +>(5);>@(?1,?M+(.11 D'9H +1.+1;-?a11+0+15

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8econd, we sought to re$licate $revious findings showing that touch communicates emotion. Hertenstein, !eltner, et al. *(110. $rovided onl one large)scale stud to $rovide evidence that touch communicates si4 distinct emotionsCanger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, and s m$ath . 9f touch, in fact, communicates these emotions in a constrained $aradigm, one would e4$ect these same emotions to %e communicated in a less constrained, whole)%od $aradigm such as the one used in the current stud . Third, we sought to investigate whether touch on the whole %od could communicate more distinct emotions than #nown heretofore. Hertenstein, !eltner, et al. *(110. $rovided evidence that touch can communicate three negativel valenced emotionsC anger, fear, and disgustCand three $rosocial emotionsClove, gratitude, and s m$ath . "ecause encoders in the current investigation were allowed to touch the other mem%er of the d ad an where on the %od , the location, as well as the t $es of touch used, $rovided decoders with additional information to inter$ret the tactile communications. /iven the greater com$le4it of tactile signals $ermitted in the current $aradigm, we $redicted that touch on the whole %od would allow more emotions to %e communicated than in the first stud of touch and emotion. 3inall , the field of emotion has advanced % develo$ing $recise descri$tions of emotion)s$ecific signals *E#man, +,,;< 8cherer, Johnstone, : !lasme er, (11;.. 6s mentioned, the current e4$erimental $aradigm $rovided encoders with more degrees of freedom to communicate various emotions than $revious wor#. 6nal ses of tactile %ehaviors in the current stud ield a more $recise %ehavioral descri$tion of how touch communicates emotion as com$ared to $revious wor# *Hertenstein, !eltner, et al., (110.. 7e as#ed whether $artici$ants can communicate two classes of emotions via touchH *a. five emotions that have $roven to %e decoded in the face and voice in different cultures *anger, fear, ha$$iness, sadness, and disgust., and *%. three $rosocial emotions related to coo$eration and altruism *love, gratitude, and s m$ath .. These emotions were chosen for two reasons. 3irst, all of the a%ove emotions were attem$ted to %e communicated in the $revious studies e4amining the communication of distinct emotions via touch *Hertenstein, !eltner, et al., (110.. Moreover, all of the emotions with the e4ce$tions of ha$$iness and sadness were communicated at greater than chance levels in $revious wor# *Hertenstein, !eltner, et al., (110.. 9n reference to the second class of emotionsCthe $rosocial emotionsC we o$ted to choose love, gratitude, and s m$ath %ecause of their theoretical association with coo$eration and altruism. !eltner, Hor%erg, and 'veis *(110. have theoriBed that touch $la s a central role in rewarding those who engage in altruistic and coo$erative acts, as well as identif ing those who are li#el to engage in reci$rocal

alliances. 3or all emotions, we em$lo ed a modified forced)choice methodolog similar to that used in studies of facial and vocal emotional communication *3ran# : 8tennett, (11+< 8cherer et al., (11;..

Method Participants
The sam$le com$rised (@5 $artici$ants *+(@ unac&uainted d ads. who were $redominantl 7hite from a small educational institution. The age range for the sam$le was +5 to ;0 ears *M _ +,.,; ears, SD _ +.,(.. Partici$ants received e4tra credit in an introductor $s cholog course for $artici$ating. 'ne mem%er of the d ad was randoml assigned to the role of encoder, the other to the role of decoder. The gender %rea#down of the four $ossi%le d ads was as follows *encoderLdecoder.H femaleLfemale *n _ @@., femaleLmale *n _ (@., maleLmale *n _ (>., and maleLfemale *n _ ;+..

Procedure and Materials


The designated encoder entered the la%orator to find the decoder %lindfolded and standing at a $redetermined location in a medium)siBed room. The decoder could not see the encoder, nor were the $artici$ants allowed to tal# or ma#e an sounds, so as to $reclude the $ossi%ilit that the might $rovide nontactile clues to the emotion %eing communicated. Eight emotion words were dis$la ed seriall to the encoder on sheets of $a$er in a randomiBed order. The encoder was instructed to thin# a%out how he or she wanted to communicate each emotion, and then to ma#e contact with the decoder2s %od , using an form of touch he or she deemed a$$ro$riate *encoders were instructed to touch onl on a$$ro$riate $laces of the %od .. Decoders were not told the gender of the $artner, and all tactile dis$la s were video recorded. 6fter each tactile dis$la was administered, the decoder was administered a forced)choice res$onse sheet reading, EPlease choose the term that %est descri%es what this $erson is communicating to ou.F The Ta%le + Percentage of Decoding Accuracy for All Emotions
Emotion EncoderLdecoder grou$ MaleLmale MaleLfemale 3emaleLfemale 3emaleLmale 6verage 7ell)studied emotions 6nger 51__ --__ ->__ 5;__ -5__ 3ear 01__ >5__ @5__ 0-__ >0__ Ha$$iness @@_ 0+__ >,__ ->__ 01__ 8adness @@_ >(__ >-__ @(_ >1__ Disgust @5__ @5__ @;__ 0-__ >1__ Prosocial emotions Dove 0@__ -+__ 0+__ -,__ 05__ /ratitude -0__ --__ -1__ ->__ -@__ 8 m$ath 0@__ 0>__ -1__ 0-__ 0-__ _ p _ .1>. __ p _ .1+. "R9E3 REP'RT8 >0-

res$onse sheet contained the following nine res$onse o$tionsH anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, sympathy, love, gratitude, as well as none of these terms are correct to reduce artificial inflation of accurac rates *see 3ran# : 8tennett, (11+.. These emotions were listed in random order across $artici$ants. The de$endent measure of interest was the $ro$ortion of $artici$ants selecting each res$onse o$tion when decoding the tactile stimulus.

Coding Procedure
6ll of the tactile dis$la s were coded on a second)% )second %asis % research assistants who were naNOve to the emotion %eing communicated. The coding s stem was informed % a surve of coding s stems used % researchers investigating touch *e.g., Jones : =ar%rough, +,5>< 7eiss, +,,(.. The s$ecific t $es of touch that were coded included s&ueeBing, stro#ing, ru%%ing, $ushing, $ulling, $ressing, $atting, ta$$ing, sha#ing, $inching, trem%ling, $o#ing, hitting, scratching, massaging, tic#ling, sla$$ing, lifting, $ic#ing, hugging, finger interloc#ing, swinging, and tossing *i.e., tossing the hand of the decoder.. Each second the encoder touched the decoder, a code was assigned of *a. no touch, *%. light intensit , *c. moderate intensit , or *d. strong intensit . ( 9n addition, the

9ntensit was defined as followsH *a. light intensit H indentation on the decoder2s s#in or movement of the decoder2s %od is not a$$arent or %arel $erce$ti%le< *%. moderate intensit H there is some s#in indentation or movement of the decoder2s %od %ut not e4tensive< *c. strong intensit H indentation on the decoder2s s#in is fairl dee$ or movement of the decoder2s %od is su%stantial as a result of the $ressure or force of the touch.
(

Ta%le ( Percentage of Encoding ehaviors of !actile Displays !hat "ere Accurately Decoded
Emotion EncoderLdecoder grou$ MaleLmale MaleLfemale 3emaleLfemale 3emaleLmale Tactile %ehavior M SD Tactile %ehavior M SD Tactile %ehavior M SD Tactile %ehavior M SD 6nger 8ha#e ;5 @@ 8ha#e ;( @+ Push (, ;> Push ;( @( Push (@ ;, Push (, @1 8ha#e (5 ;, 8ha#e +@ ;; 8&ueeBe (1 ;( 8&ueeBe ++ (> 8&ueeBe (+ ;0 Hit +( (> Hit , (> Dift - +; Hit , (( 8&ueeBe ++ (+ Pat @ +1 Hit 0 (> Dift @ 5 8la$ +1 (5 3ear 8ha#e (, @1 8ha#e +@ (, 8&ueeBe ;0 @1 Press (+ ;; 8&ueeBe (+ ;0 ContactCGM +; ;1 8ha#e , (> ContactCGM +> ;@ ContactCGM +> (- 8&ueeBe +; (- Trem%le 5 (( 8ha#e +@ ;1 Press +1 (> Dift ++ +> ContactCGM 5 (; Dift ++ +> Dift , +0 Press > +@ Press - +@ 8&ueeBe +1 (@ Ha$$iness 8ha#e (> ;( 8ha#e (5 ;> 8wing (+ (, 8wing (5 ;0 8&ueeBe (; ;, Dift (; (+ Hug +- ;( Dift (+ +, Pat (; ;( Hug (+ ;> 8ha#e +0 (@ 8ha#e +; (, Dift +0 (1 8wing +; (@ 8&ueeBe +0 (5 8&ueeBe +1 +, Hug +; (, 8&ueeBe 0 (( Dift +; +0 High five ; , 8adness ContactCGM (- ;, Hug ;0 @- GuBBle (; ;> GuBBle (@ ;, Hug (- @( GuBBle ;@ @@ ContactCGM +, ;; ContactCGM (; @1 GuBBle (> @1 ContactCGM +0 ;; 8tro#e +5 (5 8tro#e (; ;1 8&ueeBe +0 ;+ Dift ++ +0 Hug +- ;@ Ru% +1 (, Dift +1 +- 8&ueeBe > +@ Dift 5 +; Press - (; Disgust Push @, @0 Push ;> @+ Push (- ;5 Push (5 ;@ ContactCGM +( (- ContactCGM +, ;1 8&ueeBe ++ (0 8la$ +@ ;@ 8&ueeBe +1 (> Dift ++ (; Dift ++ +, Dift 5 +( 8ha#e +1 (( 8ha#e +1 (@ 8la$ - (( !ic# 0 +0 Dift > +@ Toss 0 +- 8ha#e - +5 ContactCGM > +; Dove Hug 0+ @> Hug >; @+ Hug >, @; Hug ;@ ;, Pat (1 (5 8tro#e +> (- 8tro#e 5 (+ ContactCGM +- ;( 8tro#e 5 (@ ContactCGM +1 (( Dift 5 +@ 8tro#e ++ (+ ContactCGM 0 (( Dift 5 +0 Press 0 +> Dift 5 +; Ta$ > (1 Pat 5 +5 ContactCGM > +5 GuBBle - (+ /ratitude 8ha#e @, (5 8ha#e @, (> 8ha#e (, (0 8ha#e ;+ (0 Dift (0 +5 Dift (5 +- Dift +5 +; Dift +5 +0 Pat +, (, Hug 0 +; Hug +0 (0 Pat +- ;1 ContactCGM 5 (+ ContactCGM 0 +> Pat +1 (; Hug , (; Hug @ (1 Pat 0 +( ContactCGM ; +1 ContactCGM , +5 8 m$ath Pat @; ;@ Hug (@ ;5 Ru% (> ;( Ru% (@ (, Hug (( ;, Ru% (; ;- Hug (; ;; Hug +, ;> ContactCGM (( ;+ ContactCGM (+ ;+ Pat +- (+ ContactCGM +, ;( Ru% +1 (; Pat +5 ;1 ContactCGM +@ (; Pat +0 (> 8tro#e , (( 8tro#e +( (; 8tro#e +; (+ 8tro#e +( +5 #ote$ ContactCGM _ contact, %ut no movement. >05 "R9E3 REP'RT8

duration that each encoder touched the decoder for each emotion was calculated. 3inall , we coded the location of all administered touches. 9nterrater agreement on all of the codes, %ased on (1A overla$ in coders2 Pudgments, ranged from .5+ to .,,.

Results
The data anal tic strateg ado$ted for the current stud was the same as that of Hertenstein, !eltner, et al. *(110. to facilitate com$arison %etween investigations. To assess $otential gender differences, we conducted a two)wa anal sis of variance *6G'K6., using the gender of the encoder and the gender of the decoder as the inde$endent varia%les and an overall accurac score as the de$endent varia%le. The latter varia%le was com$uted % summing the num%er of times the decoder accuratel chose the target emotion across all emotions. The 6G'K6 revealed no main effects for the encoder2s gender *menH M _ @.,>, SE _ 1.((< womenH M _ >.+,, SE _ 1.(+., %*+, +(1. _ 1.00, p _ .1>, _$ ( _ .1+< the decoder2s gender *menH M _ >.+-, SE _ 1.(;< womenH M _ @.,-, SE _

1.+,., %*+, +(1. _ 1.@>, p _ .1>, _$ ( _ .11< as well as no significant interaction, %*+, +(1. _ (.-0, p _ .1>, _$ ( _ .1(. 9n addition to these anal ses, we conducted %inomial tests on the $ro$ortion of $artici$ants who chose each emotion for a given target emotion. Di#e Hertenstein, !eltner, et al. *(110., we followed 3ran# and 8tennett2s *(11+. suggestion that a chance rate of (>A %e set for such anal ses. 9n Ta%le +, we $resent the accurac rates of all d ad com%inations and the overall average for each emotion. 6ll of the well)studied emotionsCanger, fear, ha$$iness, sadness, and disgustCwere decoded at greater than chance levels without significant levels of confusion with other emotions. 'f these emotions, anger was most accuratel communicated. 6ll of the $rosocial emotions, including love, gratitude, and s m$ath , were decoded at greater than chance levels without confusion as well. 9n fact, as a grou$, the $rosocial emotions were communicated more accuratel , on average, than the well)studied emotions. 7hat were the tactile signals associated with each of the emotionsQ 9n Ta%le (, we dis$la the five most fre&uent t $es of touch used for each emotion decom$osed % genderLd ad com%ination. 3or the instances in which the encoder accuratel conve ed the emotion to the decoder, we $resent the duration and intensit of touch for each emotion in Ta%le ;, as well as the location of the touches received % decoders in 3igure + *again, decom$osed % genderLd ad com%ination.. 8 stematic differences in the &ualit of touch were evident for each of the communicated emotions. 6nger, for e4am$le, was associated with $ushing and sha#ing< sadness was associated with nuBBling and hugging< love was associated with hugging and stro#ing< and s m$ath was associated with hugging and ru%%ing. 9n addition, duration and intensit differences characteriBed each of the emotions. 3or e4am$le, sadness was characteriBed % $redominantl light intensit touch of moderate duration, whereas anger was characteriBed % $redominantl strong and moderate intensit touch of shorter duration. 3inall , the location of the touches was different de$ending on the emotion communicated and the gender com%ination t $e.

Discussion
The current stud $rovides evidence that touch communicates distinct emotions and does so in a ro%ust fashion. 7e documented that touch communicates at least eight emotionsH anger, fear, ha$$iness, sadness, disgust, love, gratitude, and s m$ath . Moreover, the accurac rates for the emotions ranged, on average, from >1A to -1A, which are com$ara%le to the accurac rates o%served in facial and vocal studies of emotion *Elfen%ein : 6m%ad , (11(< 8cherer et al., (11;.. 3inall , fine)grained coding documented s$ecific touch %ehaviors associated with each of the emotions. The findings e4tend the literature on the communication of emotion in three wa s. 3irst, not onl were the same emotions communicated via touch as those in $revious studies, there% re$licating $revious wor# *Hertenstein, !eltner et al., (110., %ut two new emotions were relia%l communicated through touch in the current stud H ha$$iness and sadness. The field of emotion has %een advanced significantl % researchers who have identified new emotion signals in a variet of modalities. 3or e4am$le, researchers have uncovered signals for em%arrassment in the face *!eltner : "uswell, +,,-., varieties of laughter in the voice *8mos#i : "achorows#i, (11;., and $ride in gesture *Trac : Ro%ins, (11@.. Drawing on data from Hertenstein, !eltner, et al. *(110., as well as the current investigation, touch communicates at least four negativel valenced emotionsCanger, fear, sadness, and disgustCand four $ositive or $rosocial emotionsCha$$iness, gratitude, s m$ath , and love *DaBarus, +,,+.. Ta%le ; Duration and &ntensity of !actile Displays !hat "ere Accurately Decoded
Encoded emotion Duration *s.

9ntensit *A. Gone Dight Moderate 8trong M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD E#man2s emotions 6nger @.> >.+ >.1 ++.+ 0., +0.0 ;;.1 ;0.@ >>.+ @+.@ 3ear -.0 5.> 1.0 (.> +-.- (0.( >-.+ ;>.@ (@.0 ;>.1 Ha$$iness >.5 ;.- 1.5 ;.- +0.1 ;1.; ;>.> (,., @-.0 ;>.8adness 0.@ @.; 1.- (., 0>.+ @+.; ;+.@ ;,., ;.; 5.0 Disgust >.5 -.1 5.5 +-.0 +(.@ (;.+ @1.( ;;.0 ;5.0 ;-.@ Prosocial emotions Dove >.; @.- +.0 -.+ ;>.1 ;-.5 >0.- ;5.5 0.- (+.> /ratitude 0.1 @.0 1.0 ;.( +0.0 (+.5 -;.; (5.@ ,.0 (1., 8 m$ath 0.@ >.0 +.1 >.> 0>.> ;5.+ ;(.( ;0.- +.@ -.; "R9E3 REP'RT8 >0,

'ur investigation advances the stud of emotional communication in a second related fashion, % $roviding evidence that the tactile signaling s stem is Pust as differentiated, if not more so, than the face and voice. 'ur findings along with those of Hertenstein, !eltner, et al. *(110. indicate that touch communicates more than the hedonic tone and the intensit of emotions as once thought *Hertenstein : Cam$os, (11+< Jones : =ar%rough, +,5>< !na$$ : Hall, +,,-.. The greatest contrast %etween touch and the face and voice can %e o%served when e4amining $ositive or $rosocial emotions. 9n the face, onl one $ositive emotionCPo Chas %een relia%l decoded in studies *E#man, +,,;., although there is some evidence that s m$ath *Eisen%erg, 3a%es, Miller, : 3ultB, +,5,. and love are evident in the face as well */onBaga, !eltner, : Dondahl, (11+.. 9n the voice, researchers have found evidence for some differentiation of $ositive emotional states as well. 9n a meta)anal sis of vocal communication of emotion, Juslin and Dau##a *(11;. differentiated %etween the communication of happiness and the communication of love'tenderness. The former categor included $ositive emotional states such as cheerfulness, elation, enPo ment, and Po , whereas the latter categor included states such as affection, love, tenderness, and $assion. Thus, there is evidence for at least some degree of differentiation among $ositive emotions in the voice. Gevertheless, data from the current stud suggest that touch demonstrates greater differentiation than the voice and $erha$s even the face. 'ur investigation advances the understanding of emotional communication in a third wa , % documenting s$ecific tactile %ehaviors that are associated with each of the emotions. 3or e4am$le, fear was communicated % holding the other, s&ueeBing, and contact without movement, whereas s m$ath was communicated % holding the other, $atting, and ru%%ing. Two im$ortant $oints should %e made regarding the tactile encoding of emotions. 3irst, the tactile s stem is incredi%l com$le4< touch can var in its action *the s$ecific move)
Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad
@1 ;+ +, @ ;0 ( 5 >; >> (@ +> ; (1 ;> +( 01 +( 0 +1 5 (( >, >0 > ++ (+ ;, +0 +0 +0

Fear Anger
+0 +>

Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad
(+

(@ +0 (0 0 +5 ;> ;@ @; +; +5 >@ 5 (0 ++ >; +@ +1 +( (> (+ (+- +, ;, +; (+ +@ (5 (, +-

Happiness Sadness
+;

Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad

%igure ($ Docation where and $ercentage of time decoder2s %od was contacted % encoder when emotions were accuratel decoded. The figure on the left re$resents the front side, and the figure on the right re$resents the %ac# side. >-1 "R9E3 REP'RT8

ments one uses to touch such as ru%%ing., intensit *degree of $ressure that one uses., velocit *the rate at which one im$resses on or moves across the s#in., a%ru$tness *the acceleration or deceleration that one uses to touch., tem$erature, location, and duration. The $h sical com$le4it of touch is what li#el allows for such a differentiated signaling s stem. The second $oint involves the $rinci$le of e)uipotentiality. The $rinci$le of e&ui$otentialit refers to the idea that the same t $e of touch can %e assigned ver different meanings or conse&uences. This $rinci$le is in line with functional claims of emotion that em$hasiBe the fle4i%ilit of the emotion signaling s stem *7itherington : Crichton, (11-.. Related to this $oint, much research has shown that men and women inter$ret touch ver differentl *Hertenstein, Ker#am$, et al., (110.. 'ur data indicate that this is not the case in terms of the decoding of s$ecific emotions *all d ad t $es decoded the same emotions a%ove chance., %ut the genders certainl used different actions to communicate various emotions. 'ur data lend su$$ort to the a%ove statements a%out the tactile s stem. 6lthough ever &ualit of touch we coded was evident at various intensities in the stud , s stematic differences e4isted %etween the emotions. Moreover, the $rinci$le of e&ui$otentialit was evident. 3or e4am$le, e&ui$otentialit was $resent to some degree in that Esha#ingF was used to communicate more than one emotion. This demonstrates that the same tactile signal ma have var ing meanings assigned to it de$ending on other factors such as intensit and duration, as well as the other accom$an ing tactile %ehaviors. 8everal features of the current stud increase our confidence in the ro%ustness of the findings. 3irst, we o$ted to allow $artici$ants to touch the decoder on the whole %od rather than limiting the location of the touch to the lower half of the arm. This allowed greater degrees of freedom to the encoder and more closel mimics what ha$$ens in naturalistic conte4ts. 9t is im$ortant to note that our stud , li#e the vast maPorit of studies focusing on the face and voice, included strangers to remove the $ossi%ilit that $eo$le could communicate through touch %ecause the were familiar with each other. Gevertheless, we ac#nowledge that $eo$le touch each other less fre&uentl with strangers than with intimate $artners or
Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad
(> >1 +> , (@ 0 @, @, (@ +, @@ +> (+ 5 +(

>, +5 +0 @> ++( +, (; ;5 +( +;( (1

Disgust Love
+>

Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad Male L Male D ad Male L 3emale D ad 3emale L 3emale D ad 3emale L Male D ad
+1 (0 >0 @ 5 -1 +5 (1 @ +>+> +, >5 ;5 (5 (+ (( ;+ (+ +, (; (( (> (1 +; ;1 ((

Gratitude Sympathy
50 ((

%igure ($ *continued. "R9E3 REP'RT8 >-+

friends, es$eciall on the whole %od *Hertenstein, Ker#am$, et al., (110.. 'ur stud shows, nevertheless, that touch does, in fact, $ossess the $ossi%ilit of communicating distinct emotions even %etween strangers. 3uture research should address how results ma differ when d ad $artners are more familiar with each other. 8econd, unli#e most studies of the face and voice which em$lo actors ade$t at emotional communication, we o$ted to allow su%Pects to touch their $artners in an wa the saw fit. This $rovided greater varia%ilit in our stud in terms of encoding %ehaviors, and it deals with one criti&ue of the facial and vocal literature, that of em$lo ing highl $rotot $ical dis$la s of emotion. 3inall , we included the res$onse o$tion none of these terms are correct, which reduces the li#elihood of inflated accurac rates *3ran# : 8tennett, (11+.. There are conceiva%le alternative e4$lanations for the data in the current stud . Di#e most studies of facial *E#man, +,,;. and vocal communication *8cherer et al., (11;., we conce$tualiBed the stud in terms of the communication of emotions. 'ne of the most significant alternative inter$retations is that encoders ma have %een communicating intentions rather than emotions. 3ridlund *+,,-., in fact, has raised this issue in reference to the facial e4$ression literature< our stud is su%Pect to this alternative e4$lanation and it is one that future research should e4$lore. 7hat might %e the evolutionar origins of a tactile signaling s stemQ Hertenstein, Ker#am$, !erestes, and Holmes *(110. have recentl suggested that social grooming, also #nown as allogrooming, ma underlie the develo$ment of such a s stem. Des$ite the necessit of grooming to $rotect nonhuman $rimates from disease, most researchers agree that the $revalence of grooming in s$ecies is indicative of im$ortant social functions *"occia, +,5;< 8$ar#s, +,0-.. 8u$$ort for this comes from evidence that nonhuman $rimates in ca$tivit groom e&uall as much as those in the wild, des$ite the lac# of ecto$arasites re&uiring removal *8uomi, +,,1.. 9n addition, $rimates of a lower status are groomed less, although the are as susce$ti%le to $arasites as are $rimates of a higher

status *8$ar#s, +,0-.. The evidence indicates that grooming maintains social relationshi$s %etween nonhuman $rimates of ever se4, age, and ran#. 9t is $lausi%le that humans2 tactile communication s stem ma have evolved from the intricate s stem of tactile contact evident in nonhuman $rimates. 9t is also $lausi%le that grooming in nonhuman s$ecies is $articularl relevant for the differentiation of $rosocial emotions, which ultimatel act as signals of reci$rocal alliances *!eltner et al., (110.. 8everal im$ortant &uestions related to touch and emotion await investigation. 3irst, what are the evolutionar origins of the tactile communication s stemQ 'ne $lausi%le e4$lanationC groomingCwas offered a%ove, %ut this and other evolutionar e4$lanations deserve more em$irical and theoretical attention. 8econd, how does the signaling of emotions % the tactile s stem o$erate in more naturalistic conte4tsQ Preciousl few naturalistic studies of facial and vocal communication of emotion have %een conducted, and touch is no e4ce$tion. Third, to what degree is the communication of emotion via touch universal versus culturall s$ecificQ 'ur data are limited insofar as the are limited to a U.8. sam$le. 8ome researchers have investigated cultural differences in touch *e.g., Hall, +,00., %ut never from an emotion communication $ers$ective. 9t is im$ortant to note that research indicates that touch ma %e inter$reted differentl de$ending on one2s culture *3ield, (11+.. 9s this the case with the communication of emotionQ These and other &uestions await the attention of researchers.

References
"anse, R., : 8cherer, !. R. *+,,0.. 6coustic $rofiles in vocal emotion e4$ression. *ournal of Personality and Social Psychology, +,, 0+@L0;0. "arnett, !. *+,-(.. 6 theoretical construct of the conce$ts of touch as the relate to nursing. #ursing -esearch, .(, +1(L++1. "occia, M. D. *+,5;.. 6 functional anal sis of social grooming $atterns through direct com$arison with self)grooming in rhesus mon#e s. &nternational *ournal of Primatology, /, ;,,L@+5. Davidson, R. J., 8cherer, !. R., : /oldsmith, H. H. *(11;.. 0and1oo2 of affective sciences$ DondonH '4ford Universit Press. de 7aal, 3. *+,5,.. Peacema2ing among primates$ Cam%ridge, M6H Harvard Universit Press. Ei%l)Ei%esfeldt, 9. *+,5,.. 0uman ethology$ Hawthorne, G=H 6ldine de /ru ter. Eisen%erg, G., 3a%es, R. 6., Miller, P. 6., : 3ultB, J. *+,5,.. Relation of s m$ath and $ersonal distress to $rosocial %ehaviorH 6 multimethod stud . *ournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3+, >>L00. E#man, P. *+,,;.. 3acial e4$ression and emotion. American Psychologist, /4, ;5@L;,(. Elfen%ein, H. 6., : 6m%ad , G. *(11(.. 'n the universalit and cultural s$ecificit of emotion recognitionH 6 meta)anal sis. Psychological ulletin, (.4, (1;L(;>. 3ield, T. *(11+.. !ouch$ Cam%ridge, M6H M9T Press. 3ran#, M. /., : 8tennett, J. *(11+.. The forced)choice $aradigm and the $erce$tion of facial e4$ressions of emotion. *ournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4,, ->L5>. 3ridlund, 6. J. *+,,-.. The new etholog of human facial e4$ressions. 9n J. 6. Russell : J.M. 3ernandeB)Dols *Eds.., !he psychology of facial e5pression *$$. +1;L+(,.. Cam%ridge, EnglandH Cam%ridge Universit Press. /eldard, 3. 6. *+,01, Ma (-.. 8ome neglected $ossi%ilities of communication. Science, (6(, +>5;L+>55. /onBaga, /. C., !eltner, D., : Dondahl, E. 6. *(11+.. Dove and the commitment $ro%lem in romantic relations and friendshi$. *ournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4(, (@-L(0(. Hall, E. T. *+,00.. !he hidden dimension$ /arden Cit , G=H 6nchor? Dou%leda . Hertenstein, M. J., : Cam$os, J. J. *(11+.. Emotion regulation via maternal touch. &nfancy, ., >@,L>00. Hertenstein, M. J., !eltner, D., 6$$, "., "ulleit, ". 6., : Jas#ol#a, 6. R. *(110.. Touch communicates distinct emotions. Emotion, 7, >(5L>;;. Hertenstein, M. J., Ker#am$, J. M., !erestes, 6. M., : Holmes, R. M. *(110.. The communicative functions of touch in humans, nonhuman $rimates, and ratsH 6 review and s nthesis of the em$irical research. 8enetic, Social, and 8eneral Psychology Monographs, (6., >L,@. Jones, 8. E., : =ar%rough, 6. E. *+,5>.. 6 naturalistic stud of the meanings of touch. Communication Monographs, 3., +,L>0.

Juslin, P. G., : Dau##a, P. *(11;.. Communication of emotions in vocal e4$ression and music $erformanceH Different channels, same codeQ Psychological ulletin, (.9, --1L5+@. !eltner, D., : "uswell, ". G. *+,,-.. Em%arrassmentH 9ts distinct form and a$$easement functions. Psychological ulletin, (.., (>1L(-1. !eltner, D., Hor%erg, E. J., : 'veis, C. *(110.. Emotional intuitions and moral $la . Social *ustice -esearch, (9, (15L(+-. !na$$, M. D., : Hall, J. 6. *+,,-.. #onver1al communication in human interaction *@th ed... 3ort 7orth, TRH Harcourt "race College Pu%lishers. DaBarus, R. *+,,+.. Emotion and adaptation$ Gew =or#H '4ford Universit Press. 8cherer, !. R., Johnstone, T., : !lasme er, /. *(11;.. Kocal e4$ression of emotion. 9n R. J. Davidson : H. H. /oldsmith *Eds.., 0and1oo2 of affective sciences *$$. @;;L@>0.. DondonH '4ford Universit Press. >-( "R9E3 REP'RT8 8mos#i, M. J., : "achorows#i, J. 6. *(11;.. 6nti$honal laughter %etween friends and strangers. Cognition and Emotion, (+, ;(-L;@1. 8$ar#s, J. *+,0-.. 6llogrooming in $rimatesH 6 review. 9n D. Morris *Ed.., Primate ethology *$$. +@5L+->.. ChicagoH 6ldine Pu%lishing. 8tac#, D. M. *(11+.. The salience of touch and $h sical contact during infanc H Unraveling some of the m steries of the somesthetic sense. 9n /. "remner : 6. 3ogel *Eds.., lac2well hand1oo2 of infant development *$$. ;>+L;-5.. Malden, M6H "lac#well. 8uomi, 8. J. *+,,1.. The role of tactile contact in rhesus mon#e social develo$ment. 9n !. E. "arnard : T. ". "raBelton *Eds.., !ouch: !he foundation of e5perience *$$. +(,L+0@.. Madison, CTH 9nternational Universities Press. Trac , J. D., : Ro%ins, R. 7. *(11@.. 8how our $rideH Evidence for a discrete emotion e4$ression. Psychological Science, (3, ,@L,-. 7eiss, 8. J. *+,,(.. Measurement of the sensor &ualities in tactile interaction. #ursing -esearch, /(, 5(L50. 7itherington, D. C., : Crichton, J. 6. *(11-.. 3ramewor#s for understanding emotions and their develo$mentH 3unctionalist and d namic s stems a$$roaches. Emotion, +, 0(5L0;-.

Received 6ugust +1, (11Revision received 3e%ruar ++, (11, 6cce$ted March ,, (11, _

Call for Nominations


The Pu%lications and Communications *P:C. "oard of the 6merican Ps chological 6ssociation has o$ened nominations for the editorshi$s of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Comparative Psychology, Journal of Counseling Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Journal of Personality and ocial Psychology: Attitudes and ocial Cognition, PsycC!"#"$%E , and !ehabilitation Psychology for the ears (1+(L(1+-. Ganc !. Mello, PhD, David 7atson, PhD, /ordon M. "urghardt, PhD, "rent 8. Mallinc#rodt, PhD, /l n 7. Hum$hre s, PhD, Charles M. Judd, PhD, Dann 7edding, PhD, and Timoth R. Elliott, PhD, res$ectivel , are the incum%ent editors. Candidates should %e mem%ers of 6P6 and should %e availa%le to start receiving manuscri$ts in earl (1++ to $re$are for issues $u%lished in (1+(. Please note that the P:C "oard encourages $artici$ation % mem%ers of underre$resented grou$s in the $u%lication $rocess and would $articularl welcome such nominees. 8elf)nominations are also encouraged. 8earch chairs have %een a$$ointed as followsH Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7illiam Howell, PhD Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Gorman 6%eles, PhD Journal of Comparative Psychology, John Disterhoft, PhD Journal of Counseling Psychology, Geil 8chmitt, PhD Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Deah Dight, PhD Journal of Personality and ocial Psychology: Attitudes and ocial Cognition, Jennifer Croc#er, PhD PsycC!"#"$%E , Kalerie Re na, PhD !ehabilitation Psychology, "o% 3ran#, PhD Candidates should %e nominated % accessing 6P62s EditorSuest site on the 7e%. Using our 7e% %rowser, go to htt$H??editor&uest.a$a.org. 'n the Home menu on the left, find E/uests.F Ge4t, clic# on the lin# E8u%mit a Gomination,F enter our nominee2s information, and clic# E8u%mit.F Pre$ared statements of one $age or less in su$$ort of a nominee can also %e su%mitted % e)mail to Emnet Tesfa e, P:C "oard 8earch Diaison, at emnetIa$a.org. Deadline for acce$ting nominations is Januar +1, (1+1, when reviews will %egin.
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