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Thomas

It would be interesting to see if these experiments are just as appalling 50 years from now as those experiments on monkeys are to us today. "Appalled and fascinated" nicely summarizes my reaction, though, like many of us, I guess I have to struggle a bit to really feel truly appalled about the waitresses. It would be easier to feel one's indignation if these were experiments conducted on prisoners to test various thresholds for "enhanced interrogation". That feels a bit more like caged monkeys. But even leaving extreme cases, where the actual tests are cruel, on the side, we have to ask whether this interest in "what makes people tick" isn't a bit perverse.

It's a complaint I've always had about "normal psychology": if it ain't broke, why are doing all this research to try to fix it? The most likely effect is that we'll break whatever fundamental connection (maternal warmth, if that is what it is) we discover to be at work. One almost feels tempted to be religious about it: respect the mysteries!

DC Jobs

Bob, I think your point about the casinos already doing this is very telling.

I'd be curious to know how this came about. I can think of two possible models.

The first would be the idea that a pool hall hustler like "Minnesota Fats knows physics, without knowing physics". So just by being in the casino business the decision makers there know a lot about human behavior without necessarily having advanced psych degrees.

The second option is that either casinos or their consultants monitor psych research and conduct split testing to determine the effects such theories would have on their bottom line.

Patrick

I have been a casino dealer, albeit a male one. Touching of customers is explicitly forbidden, at least at any casino here in the U.S.

The concern on the part of the Casino is collusion and theft. Did that dealer just slip a chip to the customer? Is the dealer giving the customer signals?

If you've ever watched dealers, you'll notice that they 'clear' their hands before touching pretty much anything. Before a dealer scratches their nose they have to clear their hands to show the pit boss, the camera & the customer that they aren't trying to slip a chip (or card) off the table. Then the dealer clears their hand afterward to show they aren't sneaking a card (or dice or ball) onto the table.

I'm afraid that until some equivalent to RFIDs are put into every chip, card, die & roulette ball, touching is going to remain the province of cocktail waitresses.

bill  Ives

I agree with the cultural context part. But in m own US experience. I find that men and women hug and women hug women - all of this as freindly non-sexual but men do not hug men - with a few exceptions.

John

I'll bet that this finding is heavily dependent on cultural context.

olivier clerc

well the conclusion of your article regarding casinos business is disappointing me a little bit. I would have rather mention charity raise-fundings activities.
Seriously, are casinos businesses needing such improvements to keep gamblers on their desk?

Nevertheless such observations should definitively conclude on improving the family education of fathers next to their child in order to solve and balance the parents relationship with kids.
Comparing those findings with the deficient relationship most of fathers have with their children might give a great highlight how shared love & care from both parents can make the revolution in daily relationship in the society.
Versus fathers, from very first days of birth, mothers spend far more time with their baby holding embracing and caressing them. Therefore fathers have seriously to catch up in their relationship with their children to match this physical proof of love.
Our modern society is transforming so deeply our social relationship, that the "nonsexual touching" might have definitively a serious affect on our daily behaviors, looking for what we got used to have from our mom during our childhood.
now fathers have just to wake up.

Carol Murchie

It could argue in favor of women being encouraged to take leadership roles in things like delicate M & A activities between entities. I'm just thinking about a situation where people might be wary and distrusting and a reassuring presence might clinch the best terms.

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