Want to spread compassion? Reach out and touch someone

Dacher Keltner, executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, shares insights from the new science of touch: compassionate communication, touch therapies, and proof that “to touch is to give life.”

The social functions of touch include:

  • feelings of reward
  • reciprocity
  • signals safety
  • soothes
  • releases oxytocin
  • promotes cooperation

The results of Touch Therapy are even more significant:

  • Increases weight of premature babies by 47%
  • Reduces depression in patients with Alzheimers
  • Doubles likelihood children will speak in class
  • Boosts library use and enjoyment

From a persuasive technology point of view, we wonder if iPhone apps can be created that can create feelings of well being through the multi-touch interface.  Your thoughts?

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