Haptic communication
Haptic communication is the means by which people and other animals communicate via touching. Touch, or the haptic sense, is extremely important for humans; as well as providing information about surfaces and textures it is a component of nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch , by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact...

 in interpersonal relationships, and vital in conveying physical intimacy
Physical intimacy
Physical intimacy is sensual proximity or touching. It can be enjoyed by itself or be an expression of feelings which people have for one another...

. It can be both sexual
Human sexual behavior
Human sexual activities or human sexual practices or human sexual behavior refers to the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts from time to time, and for a wide variety of reasons...

 (kissing is one such example that is sometimes sexual) and platonic
Platonic love
Platonic love is a chaste and strong type of love that is non-sexual.-Amor Platonicus:The term amor platonicus was coined as early as the 15th century by the Florentine scholar Marsilio Ficino. Platonic love in this original sense of the term is examined in Plato's dialogue the Symposium, which has...

 (such as hug
A hug is a form of physical intimacy, that usually involves closing or holding the arms around the neck, back, or waist of another person; if more than two persons are involved, this is referred to as a group hug. A hug, sometimes in association with a kiss, eye contact or other gestures, is a...

ging or tickling
Tickling is the act of touching a part of the body so as to cause involuntary twitching movements and/or laughter. The word evolved from the Middle English tikelen, perhaps frequentative of ticken, to touch lightly. The idiom tickled pink means to be pleased or delighted.In 1897, psychologists G...


Touch is the earliest sense to develop in the fetus. The development of an infant's haptic senses and how it relates to the development of the other senses such as vision
Visual perception
Visual perception is the ability to interpret information and surroundings from the effects of visible light reaching the eye. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision...

 has been the target of much research. Human babies have been observed to have enormous difficulty surviving if they do not possess a sense of touch, even if they retain sight and hearing. Babies who can perceive through touch, even without sight and hearing, tend to fare much better. Touch can be thought of as a basic sense in that most life forms have a response to being touched, while only a subset have sight and hearing.

In chimpanzees the sense of touch is highly developed. As newborns they see and hear poorly but cling strongly to their mothers. Harry Harlow
Harry Harlow
Harry Frederick Harlow was an American psychologist best known for his maternal-separation and social isolation experiments on rhesus monkeys, which demonstrated the importance of care-giving and companionship in social and cognitive development...

 conducted a controversial study involving rhesus monkeys
Rhesus Macaque
The Rhesus macaque , also called the Rhesus monkey, is one of the best-known species of Old World monkeys. It is listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and its tolerance of a broad range of habitats...

 and observed that monkeys reared with a "terry cloth mother", a wire feeding apparatus wrapped in softer terry cloth
There are two types of terry fabrics# Towell Terry is a [woven] fabric with long loops that can absorb large amounts of water. Its content is usually 100% cotton, but may sometimes contain polyester....

 which provided a level of tactile stimulation and comfort, were considerably more emotionally stable as adults than those with a mere wire mother.(Harlow,1958)

Touching is treated differently from one country to another. Socially acceptable levels of touching varies from one culture to another. In the Thai culture, touching someone's head may be thought rude. Remland and Jones (1995) studied groups of people communicating and found that in England (8%), France (5%) and the Netherlands (4%) touching was rare compared to their Italian (14%) and Greek (12.5%) sample.

Strike (attack)
A strike is an attack with an inanimate object, such as a weapon, or with a part of the human body intended to cause an effect upon an opponent or to simply cause harm to an opponent. There are many different varieties of strikes...

, pushing, pulling, pinching, kick
In combat sports and hand-to-hand combat, a kick is a physical strike using the foot, leg, or knee . This type of attack is used frequently, especially in stand-up fighting...

ing, strangling
Strangling is compression of the neck that may lead to unconsciousness or death by causing an increasingly hypoxic state in the brain. Fatal strangling typically occurs in cases of violence, accidents, and as the auxiliary lethal mechanism in hangings in the event the neck does not break...

 and hand-to-hand fighting are forms of touch in the context of physical abuse
Physical abuse
Physical abuse is abuse involving contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm.-Forms of physical abuse:*Striking*Punching*Belting*Pushing, pulling*Slapping*Whipping*Striking with an object...

. In a sentence like "I never touched him/her" or "Don't you dare to touch him/her" the term touch may be meant as euphemism
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience...

 for either physical abuse or sexual touching. To 'touch oneself' is a euphemism for masturbation
Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...


The word touch has many other metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

ical uses. One can be emotion
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

ally touched, referring to an action or object that evokes an emotional response. To say "I was touched by your letter" implies the reader felt a strong emotion when reading it. It usually does not include anger
Anger is an automatic response to ill treatment. It is the way a person indicates he or she will not tolerate certain types of behaviour. It is a feedback mechanism in which an unpleasant stimulus is met with an unpleasant response....

, disgust
Disgust is a type of aversion that involves withdrawing from a person or object with strong expressions of revulsion whether real or pretended. It is one of the basic emotions and is typically associated with things that are regarded as unclean, inedible, infectious, gory or otherwise offensive...

 or other forms of emotional rejection unless used in a sarcastic manner.

Stoeltje (2003) wrote about how Americans are ‘losing touch’ with this important communication skill. During a study conduced by University of Miami
University of Miami
The University of Miami is a private, non-sectarian university founded in 1925 with its main campus in Coral Gables, Florida, a medical campus in Miami city proper at Civic Center, and an oceanographic research facility on Virginia Key., the university currently enrolls 15,629 students in 12...

 School of Medicine, Touch Research Institutes, American children were said to be more aggressive than their French counterparts while playing at a playground. It was noted that French women touched their children more often than the American parents.

Categories of haptic communication

Heslin (1974) outlines the five haptic categories:

1. Functional/professional

2. Social/polite

3. Friendship/warmth

4. Love/intimacy

5. Sexual/arousal

The intent of a touch is not always exclusive and touching can evolve to each one of Heslin’s categories.


Managers should know the effectiveness of using touch while communicating to subordinates, but need to be cautious and understand how touch can be misunderstood. A hand on the shoulder for one person may mean a supportive gesture, while it could mean a sexual advance to another person. Working with others and using touch to communicate, a manager needs to be aware of each person’s touch tolerance.

Henley’s (1977) research found that a person in power is more likely to touch a subordinate, but the subordinate is not free to touch in kind. Touch is a powerful nonverbal communication tool and this different standard between a superior and subordinate can lead to confusion whether the touch is motivated by dominance or intimacy according to Borisoff and Victor (1989).

The initial connection to another person in a professional setting usually starts off with a touch, specifically a handshake
A handshake is a short ritual in which two people grasp one of each other's like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands.-History:...

. A person's handshake can speak volumes about them and their personality. Chiarella (2006) wrote an article for Esquire magazine
Esquire (magazine)
Esquire is a men's magazine, published in the U.S. by the Hearst Corporation. Founded in 1932, it flourished during the Great Depression under the guidance of founder and editor Arnold Gingrich.-History:...

 explaining to the predominately male readership how handshakes differ from person to person and how they send nonverbal messages. He mentioned that holding the grip longer than two seconds will result in a stop in the verbal conversation, thus the nonverbal will override the verbal communication.

Walton (1989) stated in his book that touching is the ultimate expression of closeness or confidence between two people, but not seen often in business or formal relationships. Touching stresses how special the message is that is being sent by the initiator. "If a word of praise is accompanied by a touch on the shoulder, that’s the gold star on the ribbon," wrote Walton.


Moving from one haptic category to another can become blurred by culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

. There are many areas in the United States where a touch on the forearm is accepted as socially correct and polite. However, in the Midwest, this is not always an acceptable behavior.

Jones (1985) explained communication with touch as the most intimate and involving form which helps people to keep good relationships with others. His study with Yarbrough covered touch sequences and individual touches.

Touch sequences fall into two different types, repetitive and strategic. Repetitive is when one person touches and the other person reciprocates. The majority of these touches are considered positive. Strategic touching is a series of touching usually with an ulterior or hidden motive thus making them seem to be using touch as a game to get someone to do something for them.

More common than the sequential touches are the individual or single touches. They must be read by using the total context of what was said, the nature of the relationship and what kind of social setting was involved when the person was touched.

Yarbrough designed a blueprint for how to touch. She designated the different body areas as to whether they are 'touchable' or not. Non-vulnerable body parts (NVBP) are the hand, arm, shoulder and upper back, and vulnerable body parts (VBP) are all other body regions.

Civil inattention is defined as the polite way to manage interaction with strangers by not engaging in any interpersonal communication or needing to respond to a stranger’s touch. Goffman (1963) uses an elevator study to explain this phenomenon. It is uncommon for people to look, talk or touch to the person next to them. While it may be so crowded that they 'touch' another person, they will often maintain an expressionless demeanor so not to affect those around them.


It is more acceptable for women to touch than men in social or friendship settings, possibly because of the inherent dominance of the person touching over the person being touched. Whitcher and Fisher (1979) conducted a study to see whether therapeutic touch
Therapeutic touch
Therapeutic touch , also known as Non-Contact Therapeutic Touch , is an energy therapy which practitioners claim promotes healing and reduces pain and anxiety. Practitioners of therapeutic touch state that by placing their hands on, or near, a patient, they are able to detect and manipulate the...

 to reduce anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...

 differed between the sexes. A nurse was told to touch patients for one minute while the patients looked at a pamphlet during a routine preoperative procedure. Females reacted positively to the touch, whereas males did not. It was surmised that males equated the touch to being treated as inferior or dependent.

Touching among family members has been found to affect the behavior of those involved. Various factors are at work within a family setting. As a child grows older, the amount of touching by the parent decreases.

Boys distance themselves from their parents at an earlier age than girls. There is more touching with the same sex parent than with cross-sex parents.

A study of nonverbal communication on how men 'converse' in bars shows that women like men to touch, but it is their touching of other men that intrigues them. The men who are touching others are perceived as having a higher status and social power than those that aren't touching others.

The study found that women were more receptive to men who demanded the most social space, and that when a woman comes into a bar, men will move their drinks far apart to signal to her that they have space in their 'domain' for them.


Healthy touch
The primary nonverbal behavior that has the biggest effect on interpersonal relationships is touch.

The amount of touching increases as a relationship moves from impersonal to personal

Three areas of public touch between couples have been studied. The amount of touch between a man and a woman in the initial stages of a romantic relationship, how much touching goes on between the couple and the extent of the touching with the amount of touch men and women displayed and who initiated the touch and when they initiated it.

Public touch can serve as a ‘tie sign’ that shows others that your partner is “taken” (Morris, 1977). When a couple is holding hands, putting their arms around each other, this is a ‘tie sign’ showing others that you are together. The use of ‘tie signs’ are used more often by couples in the dating and courtship stages than between their married counterparts according to Burgoon, Buller, and Woodall (1996).

Studies have also shown a difference between the sexes on who touches when. In the initial stages of a relationship, men often follow socially prescribed gender role
Gender role
Gender roles refer to the set of social and behavioral norms that are considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex in the context of a specific culture, which differ widely between cultures and over time...

s. Patterson (1988) indicated that men fulfilling this social role would touch more and after initial touch in casual relationships and as the relationship became more intimate during serious dating or marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 relationships, women would touch more. American culture still dictates that men ‘make the first move’ in the context of a dating relationship.

Touching between married couples may help maintain good health. In a study by University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

 psychologist Jim Coan, women under stress showed signs of immediate relief by merely holding their husband’s hand. This seemed to be effective when the woman was part of a satisfying marriage.

Touching in intimate relationships may also be violent at times. McEwan and Johnson categorize violent touch in relationships into two categories: intimate terrorism and common couple violence. Intimate terrorism is characterized by a need to control or dominate a relationship, escalation over time, high frequency and severity. Common couple violence, on the other hand, is often a result of minor conflict. Common couple violence is less frequent and severe, and does not escalate over time. There are two major differences between intimate terrorism and common couple violence. Common couple violence comes in episodes rather than escalating over time. One study in 1999 by Geiser gave further evidence to this notion and reported that in fact males are significantly more likely to engage in nonverbal aggression and violence. Persons seeking help with violent intimate relationships may contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a 24-hour, confidential, toll-free hotline created through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. Hotline staff immediately connect the caller to a service provider in his or her area...

 or The National Violence Prevention Network.


According to Givens (1999), the process of nonverbal communication or negotiation is to send and receive messages in an attempt to gain someone’s approval or love. Courtship
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement...

, which may lead to love, is defined as a nonverbal message designed to attract sexual partners. During courtship, we exchange nonverbal communication gestures to tell each other to come nearer and nearer until we touch. Essential signals in the path to intimacy include facial nuzzles, kissing and caressing each other.

Courtship has five phases which include the attention phase, recognition phase, conversation phase, touching phase, and the love-making phase. Haptics takes place more during the last two phases.

The touching phase:

First touch: Is likely to be more “accidental” than premeditated by touching a neutral body part and where the recipient either accepts the touch or rejects it through body movement.

Hugging: The embrace is the most basic way of telling someone that you love them and possibly need them too.

Intention to touch: A nonverbal communication haptic code or cue is the intention behind it. Reaching your hand across the table to a somewhat unknown person is used as a way to show readiness to touch.

Kissing: Moving in concert by turning heads to allow for the lips to touch is the final part of the fourth stage of courtship, the kiss.

The final phase, love-making, which includes tactile stimulation during foreplay known as the light or protopathic touch. Any feelings of fear or apprehension may be calmed through other touching like kissing, nuzzling, and a gentle massage.

Meanings of touch

Touch research conducted by Jones and Yarbrough (1985) revealed 18 different meanings of touch, grouped in seven types: Positive effect (emotion), playfulness, control, ritual, hybrid (mixed), task-related, and accidental touch.

Positive affect touches

These touches communicate positive emotions and occur mostly between persons who have close relationships. These touches can be further classified as support, appreciation
In accounting, appreciation of an asset is an increase in its value. In this sense it is the reverse of depreciation, which measures the fall in value of assets over their normal life-time...

, inclusion
Inclusion may refer to:- Metallurgy :*Inclusion , a type of metal casting defect*Inclusions in Aluminium Alloys, solid particles in liquid aluminium alloy- Social inclusion of persons :...

, sexual interest or intent, and affection
Affection or fondness is a "disposition or rare state of mind or body" that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning: emotion ; disease; influence; state of being ; and state of mind...


Support: Serve to nurture, reassure, or promise protection. These touches generally occur in situations which either virtually require or make it clearly preferable that one person show concern for another who is experiencing distress.

Appreciation: Express gratitude for something another person has done.

Inclusion: Draw attention to the act of being together and suggest psychological closeness.

Sexual: Express physical attraction or sexual interest.

Affection: Express generalized positive regard beyond mere acknowledgment of the other.

Playful touches

These touches serve to lighten an interaction. These touches communicate a double message since they always involve a play signal, either verbal or nonverbal, which indicates the behavior is not to be taken seriously. These touches can be further classified as affection
Affection or fondness is a "disposition or rare state of mind or body" that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning: emotion ; disease; influence; state of being ; and state of mind...

ate and aggressive
“Aggressive” is a New York-based Grammy award-winning music video and commercial directing team of Alex Topaller and Daniel Shapiro.Aggressive has been described by Movie Creation Mag as “having a fascination with the wonderful, in the likes of the surrealist Rafal Olbinski” and “tenacious about...


Playful affection: Serve to lighten interaction. The seriousness of the positive message is diminished by the play signal. These touches indicate teasing and are usually mutual.

Playful aggression: Like playful affection these touches are used to serve to lighten interaction, however, the play signal indicates aggression. These touches are initiated, rather than mutual.

Control touches

These touches serve to direct the behavior, attitude, or feeling state of the recipient. The key feature of these touches is that almost all of the touches are initiated by the person who attempts influence. These touches can be further classified as compliance
Compliance (regulation)
In general, compliance means conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard or law. Regulatory compliance describes the goal that corporations or public agencies aspire to in their efforts to ensure that personnel are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws and...

, attention-getting, and announcing a response.

Compliance: Attempts to direct behavior of another person, and often, by implication, to influence attitudes or feelings.

Attention-getting: Serve to direct the touch recipient’s perceptual focus toward something.

Announcing a response: Call attention to and emphasize a feeling state of initiator; implicitly requests affect response from another.

Ritualistic touches

These touches consist of greeting
Greeting is an act of communication in which human beings intentionally make their presence known to each other, to show attention to, and to suggest a type of relationship or social status between individuals or groups of people coming in contact with each other...

 and departure
Departure may refer to:Aviation* A "departure" from controlled flight* Taxiing and takeoffNavigationIn navigation, departure is the distance made good in an east––west direction when going from one place to another ....

 touches. They serve no other function than to help make transitions in and out of focused interaction.

Greeting:- Serve as part of the act of acknowledging another at the opening of an encounter.

Departure:- Serve as a part of the act of closing an encounter

Hybrid touches

These touches involve two or more of the meanings described above. These touches can be further classified as greeting/affection and departure/affection.

Greeting/affection: Express affection and acknowledgement of the initiation of an encounter

Departure/affection: Express affection and serve to close an encounter

Task-related touches

These touches are directly associated with the performance of a task. These touches can be further classified as reference to appearance
Human physical appearance
Human physical appearance refers to the outward phenotype or look of human beings. There are infinite variations in human phenotypes, though society reduces the variability to distinct categories...

, instrumental ancillary, and instrumental intrinsic.

Reference to appearance: Point out or inspect a body part or artefact referred to in a verbal comment about appearance

Instrumental ancillary: Occur as an unnecessary part of the accomplishment of a task.

Instrumental intrinsic: Accomplish a task in and out of itself i.e., a helping touch.

Accidental touches

These touches are perceived as unintentional and have no meaning. They consist mainly of brushes.

Culture and touch

The amount of touching that occurs within a culture is largely based on the relative high context
High context culture
High context culture and the contrasting "low context culture" are terms presented by the anthropologist Edward T. Hall in his 1976 book Beyond Culture. It refers to a culture's tendency to use high context messages over low context messages in routine communication...

 or low context
Low context culture
Low context culture and the contrasting "high context culture" are terms presented by the anthropologist Edward T. Hall in his book Beyond Culture. Low context culture refers to a culture’s tendency not to cater towards in-groups...

 of the culture.

High context culture

A culture assumes that its members already know the cultural rules. Expectations do not have to be outlined or specifically verbalized. In a high context culture, many things are left unsaid, and cues are given in a subtle manner. High context cultures are prevalent in eastern cultures
Eastern world
__FORCETOC__The term Eastern world refers very broadly to the various cultures or social structures and philosophical systems of Eastern Asia or geographically the Eastern Culture...

 and in countries where the cultural demographics don’t vary widely. High-context means that "most of the information is either in the physical context or initialized in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message." (Hall
Edward T. Hall
Edward Twitchell Hall, Jr. was an American anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher. He is remembered for developing the concept of Proxemics, a description of how people behave and react in different types of culturally-defined personal space...

, 1976, p 79). High context cultures have a strong sense of tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

 and history, and change little over time. The unchanging culture solidifies rules and expectations throughout time. Members know exactly when to touch and how to touch based on a strict nonverbal commonly understood code. The Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 are examples of high context cultures.

Low context culture

A culture that communicates societal expectations through words as opposed to inferences or contexts. Low-context communication is "the mass of information is vested in the explicit code" (Hall, 1976 p 70). People from low-context cultures value facts, figures, and candor. Americans
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 are typically regarded as low context cultures who value the individual in the society.

Internal cultural differences

Frequency of touch also varies significantly between different cultures. Harper refers to several studies, one of which examined touching in coffee houses. During a one hour sitting 180 touchings were observed for Puerto Ricans, 110 for French, none for English and 2 for Americans. (Harper, 297). In order to know if someone was touching more frequently than normal it would be necessary to first know what is normal in that culture. In high touch countries a kiss on the cheek is considered a polite greeting while in Sweden it may be considered presumptuous. Jandt relates that two men holding hands will in some countries be a sign of friendly affection, whereas in the United States the same tactile code would probably be interpreted as a symbol of homosexual love (85).

Emotion and touch

Recently, researchers have shown that touch communicates distinct emotions such as anger, fear, happiness, sympathy, love, and gratitude (Hertenstein, Keltner, App, Bulleit, & Jaskolka, 2006). Moreover, the accuracy with which subjects were capable of communicating the emotions were commensurate to facial and vocal displays of emotion (Hertenstein, Verkamp, Kerestes, & Holmes, 2006).

See also

  • Cultural Studies
    Cultural studies
    Cultural studies is an academic field grounded in critical theory and literary criticism. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely distinguished from cultural...

  • Edward T. Hall
    Edward T. Hall
    Edward Twitchell Hall, Jr. was an American anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher. He is remembered for developing the concept of Proxemics, a description of how people behave and react in different types of culturally-defined personal space...

  • Nonverbal communication
    Nonverbal communication
    Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch , by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact...

  • Bertram Raven
    Bertram Raven
    Bertram H. Raven is an American academic, who has been a member of the faculty of the Psychology Department at UCLA since 1956, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus. He is perhaps best known for his early work in collaboration with John R. P...

  • Frotteurism
    Frotteurism refers to a paraphilic interest in rubbing, usually one's pelvis or erect penis, against a non-consenting person for sexual gratification. It may involve touching any part of the body including the genital area. A person who practices frotteurism is known as a frotteur...

  • Groping
    When used in a sexual context, groping is touching or fondling another person in a sexual way using the hands; it generally has a negative connotation, and is considered molestation in most societies. The term 'frotteurism' may be applied when a person rubs up against another person, typically...

  • Massage
    Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle"...

  • Infant massage
    Infant massage
    Infant massage is a type of complementary and alternative treatment that uses massage therapy for human infants. This therapy has been practiced globally, and has been increasingly used in Western countries as a treatment for infants, though the scientific evidence supporting its use is limited...

  • Negiah
    Negiah , literally "touch," is the concept in Halakha that forbids or restricts physical contact with a member of the opposite sex...

Suggested reading

  • Burgoon, J. K. (1993). Nonverbal signals. In M. L. Knapp, & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (2nd. ed., pp. 229–285). Sage.
  • Burgoon, J. K. & Buller, D.B and Woodall, W.G. (1996). Nonverbal communications: The unspoken dialogue (Second edition). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0070089957.
  • DePaulo, B. M., & Friedman, H. S. (1998). Nonverbal communication. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology. (4th Edition, Vol. 2, pp. 3–40). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
  • Guerrero, L.K., DeVito, J.A., & Hecht, M.L. (Eds) (1999). The nonverbal communication reader: Classic and contemporary reading. (2nd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland. ISBN 1577660404.
  • Hertenstein, M.J. (2002). Touch: Its communicative functions in infancy. Human Development, 45, 70-94.
  • Hertenstein, M. J., Verkamp, J., Kerestes, A., & Holmes, R. (2006). The communicative functions of touch in humans, non-human primates and rats: A review and synthesis of the empirical research. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 132, 5-94.
  • Hickson III, M. L. and Stacks, D. W. (2001). Nonverbal Communication: Studies and applications (4th edition). Roxbury Publishing Company. ISBN 1891487205
  • Leathers, D. (1997). Successful nonverbal communication: Principles and applications. Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 0205262309
  • Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating Across Cultures. The Guilford Press. ISBN 1572304456.

External links

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