Navigation Links
A Woman's Touch Encourages Financial Risk-Taking
Date:5/14/2010

The same contact from a man had no effect, researchers found

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- If you're about to make a big financial purchase, keep your distance from the friendly and helpful saleswoman.

A series of experiments by researchers from Columbia University and University of Alberta found both men and women were more likely to take financial risks after being lightly touched on the back by a woman, new research shows.

The same contact with a man did not result in more risk-taking.

Researchers say being touched by a woman may remind participants of their mother's touch during infancy, making them feel more secure and confident in taking chances.

"Certain forms of contact are associated with memories and emotional experiences of being touched by your mom," explained study author Jonathan Levav, an associate professor of business at Columbia University in New York City. "We wanted to find out how that played out among adults. What we found for financial risk-taking is a touch by a man doesn't have much influence, but a woman's touch does."

The study was recently published online in the journal Psychological Science.

In the first experiment, participants were ushered into a room with either a light, one-second touch on back of shoulder from a female, or simply asked to take a seat without any touching. Participants then had to answer 14 questions that involved decisions about money with varying levels of risk. For example, students were asked to choose between receiving $600 for sure, or flipping a coin and having a 50-50 chance of receiving $2,000.

Both male and female participants who'd been touched were significantly more likely to gamble on the bigger payout.

In a second experiment, college business students were either touched by a male or a female, shook hands with a male or female, or were not touched. Students were then asked to choose between investing $5 (which represented $500) in some combination of riskier bank stocks or in safer bonds that delivered a 4 percent return.

Those who'd been touched on the back by a woman put more of their money in stocks. Those who shook hands with a woman also showed a slight increase in their risk-taking. Neither shaking hands with or being touched by a man had any effect.

"People find even a woman's handshake slightly comforting," Levav said.

In the third experiment, participants were asked to write an essay about a time they felt "secure and supported" or "insecure and alone." Recalling these events "primed" participants to feel a certain way.

Researchers then repeated the touch vs. not touching situations prior to making investment choices.

Those who wrote about feeling insecure and were not touched were especially conservative in their investment choices. Those who wrote an essay about feeling insecure but were then touched by a woman were more likely to take financial risks -- about the same as those who started off feeling secure, according to the study.

Many previous studies have demonstrated that maternal contact is key to the development of children, Levav said, and that's true not just for human babies, but for many species, even spiders.

One study found that baby spiders who'd spent more time with their mothers were more likely to explore the far reaches of their maze, Levav noted.

"Maternal physical contact serves to promote attachment with the infant, which promotes feelings of security, which gives the infant inner strength to explore new uncertain things," Levav said.

The study also suggests that decisions that appear to be driven by rational processes can be influenced by more subjective, emotional and subconscious factors, Levav said. In his experiments, most participants could not remember having being touched.

The experiments are "fascinating," said R. Chris Farley, an associate professor of psychology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though there are other possible explanations for why participants touched by a woman were more likely to takes risks -- perhaps some perceived the contact as romantic interest -- this is unlikely because both men and women responded similarly.

Further studies might look at whether or not people's relationships with their mothers or fathers might have any impact on how strongly people reacted to the touch, he added.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more on child development.



SOURCES: Jonathan Levav, Ph.D., associate professor, business, Columbia University, New York City; R. Chris Farley, Ph.D., associate professor, psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; April 22, 2010, Psychological Science


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Human Touch Brand Ambassador and PGA Pro Tim Clark Wins First PGA TOUR Victory at PLAYERS Championship
2. Trikz Now Available on iTunes for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
3. Human Touch Returns to High Point Market with the First iPhone/iPod Touch Controlled Massage Chair
4. NOVAtime Delivers a Touchdown for S.A.F.E. Management for the Super Bowl XLIII NFL Championship and the Super Bowl XLIV NFL
5. Touchstone Saunas Goes Online to Provide Premium Quality Infrared Saunas
6. Rugged High Bright Touch Screen Computer Designed and Tested for the Most Extreme Environments
7. Human Touch Massage Chairs Receive Exclusive Endorsement from World Federation of Chiropractic
8. ModiFace Launches VuMe in Southern Florida – the World's First Full-Featured Touch-Screen Cosmetic Surgery Imaging System
9. Opinion Express Labels Dr.Rajesh Khanna as the Doc with Midas Touch
10. Stay in Touch with PhysOrg Science News While on the Go - iPhone Apps, Amazon Kindle, Podcasts
11. LifeScan Recalls Specific Lots of Consumer and Professional OneTouch(R) SureStep(R) Test Strips Due To Inaccurate Readings at High Levels
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws ... a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula ... , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business ... to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the ... minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Consumers have taken a more ... placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved beyond just ... companies are focusing on becoming more patient-oriented across ... and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard ... MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and ... the five finalists of Lyme Innovation , ... than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) ... would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share health ... and coverage decisions, a move that addresses the growing ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing of ... label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers from accessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: