A Touch of Risk

Chris Temelkos Writes About A Touch of Risk – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Chris Temelkos - June 29, 2010

By Chris Temelkos

The next time you decide to walk into a casino or invest in the stock market, tell the women surrounding you, to keep their hands to themselves. A new study conducted by the University of Alberta found an association between touch and risk-taking, all it takes is a tap on the shoulder from a woman to make an adult more likely to gamble, by going for riskier investments or trying to win big.

The study involved 300 participants who were welcomed at the door by either a man or a woman, some were touched on the shoulder, others shook hands and a third group was not touched at all. They were then asked to complete a survey assessing their financial risk-taking, the results, those who got tapped on the shoulder by a man had no change in risk level, but the ones who were tapped on the shoulder by a woman were far more likely to invest in the high-risk scenarios. Handshakes didn’t have much effect.

If you are wondering how this phenomenon is so, well, Dr. Argo, co-author of the study and Jonathan Levav, a researcher at Columbia University say that a woman’s gentle touch on the shoulder echoes maternal touch, which relates to feelings of security causing us to be more comfortable with taking bigger risks. It’s not all bad news for the guys, European studies have shown that touching a woman’s forearm while asking for a date is more likely to get you a positive response.




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