Cross-cultural similarity in relationship-specific social touching

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2019-04-17
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
10
1-10
Series
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B: BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, Volume 286
Abstract
Many species use touching for reinforcing social structures, and particularly, non-human primates use social grooming for managing their social networks. However, it is still unclear how social touch contributes to the maintenance and reinforcement of human social networks. Human studies in Western cultures suggest that the body locations where touch is allowed are associated with the strength of the emotional bond between the person touched and the toucher. However, it is unknown to what extent this relationship is culturally universal and generalizes to non-Western cultures. Here, we compared relationship-specific, bodily touch allowance maps across one Western (N = 386, UK) and one East Asian (N = 255, Japan) country. In both cultures, the strength of the emotional bond was linearly associated with permissible touch area. However, Western participants experienced social touching as more pleasurable than Asian participants. These results indicate a similarity of emotional bonding via social touch between East Asian and Western cultures.
Description
| openaire: EC/H2020/313000/EU//SOCIAL BRAIN
Keywords
social touch, cultural differences, emotion, bonding, human, touch, Performance
Other note
Citation
Suvilehto , J T , Nummenmaa , L , Harada , T , Dunbar , R IM , Hari , R , Turner , R , Sadato , N & Kitada , R 2019 , ' Cross-cultural similarity in relationship-specific social touching ' , PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B: BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES , vol. 286 , no. 1901 , 20190467 , pp. 1-10 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0467