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Yesterday I pointed to an interesting post about the power that women breasts have over men. Today I point to the findings of a scientific study that shows that a simple touch by a female can lead to more risk-taking attitude. Apparently, a comforting pat on the shoulder by a female, but not by a male, results in a greater sense of security and hence to a more risk seeking behaviour by the subjects whether they were male or female.

We show that minimal physical contact can increase people’s sense of security and consequently lead them to increased risk-taking behavior. In three experiments, with both hypothetical and real payoffs, a female experimenter’s light, comforting pat on the shoulder led participants to greater financial risk taking. Further, this effect was both mediated and moderated by feelings of security in both male and female participants.

Reading these two articles I can’t avoid but think about casinos and waiters dressed in provocative fashion and how a simple touch on the shoulders of gamblers, while serving their drink, can influence their gaming behaviour. Studies have shown that a simple touch by a waiter can lead to higher tipping by restaurant patrons, so it’s not hard to see why establishing a norm between casinos and their waiters about subtle touches on clients as win-win situation – unless you’re the client.

You can read the abstract here (full article under pay wall) and a summary here.