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A touchy subject
Physical touch can be surprisingly persuasive. From diners giving larger tips to waiters who touch them, to people being more helpful to strangers who pat them lightly on the arm, the literature has tended to paint a positive picture of the emotional influence of social touch. But context is everything. Our Research Digest reports on new research showing that even a friendly pat on the shoulder can have an adverse effect if it's performed in the wrong situation.