The Interactive Effects of Touch and Touch Avoidance on Interpersonal Evaluations

Gail Sorensen, Michael J. Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The importance and complexity of tactile communication in a variety of interpersonal contexts is underscored in the nonverbal communication literature. However, whether touch produces positive or negative effects on interpersonal relationships may depend upon the coactants' levels of touch avoidance. The present experimental study examined the interactive effects of touch and touch avoidance on interpersonal attraction and perceived homophily. The results of a MANOVA and follow-up univariate tests demonstrated that interpersonal attraction and perceived homophily are dependent, in part, on the receiver's level of touch avoidance. Touch avoiders rated confederates who touched them lower in attraction and homophily than did touch approachers who were touched. A gender of confederate effect was also observed. These findings are consistent with the extant literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages7
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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