Touch is in the eye of the beholder : A study on emotional expressions and tactile perception

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Title: Touch is in the eye of the beholder : A study on emotional expressions and tactile perception
Author: Jimenez Cuervo, Ingrid
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalitieteiden laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för socialvetenskaper
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Sosiaalipsykologia
Social Psychology
Abstract: The sense of touch has been described as the most emotionally charged channel of interpersonal communication and facial expressions have demonstrated to be the most robust way of communicating emotions. Given that both the facial and tactile channels are relevant for interpersonal affective communication, the present study investigated emotional and tactile aspects of human communication within an immersive virtual environment. Virtual technology was employed as a methodological tool to control experimental conditions; a virtual human displayed emotional expressions and a haptic device was employed to deliver tactile stimuli. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of facial expressions on tactile perception. Results showed that participants' touch perception was intense when the facial expression of the virtual human was angry, fearful and happy; forceful when the facial expression was angry; and pleasant and friendly when the virtual human's facial expression was happy and sad.
Subject: affective communication
haptic technology
interpersonal touch

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