Light Physical Touch From Female Can Increase Financial Risk Taking

This doesn’t seem to be a sexual thing that only affects men. But seems to be something similar to the affect of a mother’s touch, that affects both men and women.

From ScienceDaily

A woman’s touch is all it takes for people to throw caution to the wind. [...] If a female experimenter patted a participant on the back, they’d risk more money than if she just talked to them, or if a man did the patting. The researchers think this comes from the way that mothers use touch to make their babies feel secure.
The researchers found that participants who were touched felt more secure and took bigger risks than those who weren’t — but only if they were touched by a woman. The effect was stronger for a touch on the back than for a handshake, but went away entirely for participants who were touched by a man.

The results suggest that a woman’s touch works the same on adults as it does on infants: making them feel more secure and more willing to take risks.

From the actual paper…

Physical Contact and Financial Risk Taking

Jonathan Levav and Jennifer J. Argo


We show that minimal physical contact can increase people’s sense of security and consequently lead them to increased risk-taking behavior. In three experiments, with both hypothetical and real payoffs, a female experimenter’s light, comforting pat on the shoulder led participants to greater financial risk taking. Further, this effect was both mediated and moderated by feelings of security in both male and female participants. Finally, we established the boundary conditions for the impact of physical contact on risk-taking behaviors by demonstrating that the effect does not occur when the touching is performed by a male and is attenuated when the touch consists of a handshake. The results suggest that subtle physical contact can be strongly influential in decision making and the willingness to accept risk.


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