Informations and abstract
Keywords: physical contact, touch, compliance, persuasion, consumer's behavior
The present review focuses on the effects of interpersonal physical contact on compliance to explicit or implicit requests and on carrying out desired behaviours, reporting main empirical findings, critical aspects of the field, and some possible directions for future research. The studies examined had been carried out in those contexts where this non-verbal form of communication is mainly applied, such as persuasive communications, marketing strategies, purchase behaviours, educational settings, prosocial behaviours. Following over 20 years of research studies on this issue, even if they are not so copious, contact has been shown in many circumstances as a powerful compliance inducerelement that induces compliance, compared with a similar context where no such contact has occurred. In the literature several possible mediators of its effects have been proposed, like for example the positive evaluation of the person making the gesture, his or her status, the induction of a positive mood. However, there are no systematic studies that compare them and that might allow the discovery of the affective-cognitive processes involved.