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I feel what you feel if you are similar to me.

Serino A, Giovagnoli G, Làdavas E - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: Social interactions are influenced by the perception of others as similar or dissimilar to the self.Such judgements could depend on physical and semantic characteristics, such as membership in an ethnic or political group.In a first experiment, Caucasian and Maghrebian participants viewed a face belonging either to their own or to a different ethnic group; in a second experiment, Liberal and Conservative politically active participants viewed faces of politicians belonging to their own or to the opposite political party.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, Italy. andrea.serino@unibo.it

ABSTRACT
Social interactions are influenced by the perception of others as similar or dissimilar to the self. Such judgements could depend on physical and semantic characteristics, such as membership in an ethnic or political group. In the present study we tested whether social representations of the self and of others could affect the perception of touch. To this aim, we assessed tactile perception on the face when subjects observed a face being touched by fingers. In different conditions we manipulated the identity of the shown face. In a first experiment, Caucasian and Maghrebian participants viewed a face belonging either to their own or to a different ethnic group; in a second experiment, Liberal and Conservative politically active participants viewed faces of politicians belonging to their own or to the opposite political party. The results showed that viewing a touched face most strongly enhanced the perception of touch on the observer's face when the observed face belonged to his/her own ethnic or political group.

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Visual enhancement of touch depends on the Political similarity between the observed and observer's face.Panel A: Tactile perception was enhanced when observers belonging to Democratic and Conservative parties viewed the face of a member of their own political party (In-group) rather than of the opposite (Out-group) political party. Panel B reports data from Conservative and Democratic observers plotted separately.
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pone-0004930-g003: Visual enhancement of touch depends on the Political similarity between the observed and observer's face.Panel A: Tactile perception was enhanced when observers belonging to Democratic and Conservative parties viewed the face of a member of their own political party (In-group) rather than of the opposite (Out-group) political party. Panel B reports data from Conservative and Democratic observers plotted separately.

Mentions: As far Experiment 2 data are concerned, the main effect of Side of tactile stimulation was significant [F(38,2) = 30.88; p<.00001]. The detection of the strong tactile stimulation (mean accuracy = 89%; s.e.m. = 2) was better than those of the weak (mean = 57%; s.e.m. = 5; p<.0002) and bilateral (mean = 54%; s.e.m. = 3; p<.0002) tactile stimulation. Moreover, the two-way interaction Image by Touch condition was significant [F(1,19) = 9.26; p<.007]. Tactile detection was enhanced when viewing a face of a politician belonging to one's own political group being touched (mean = 70%; s.e.m. = 3) rather than being approached (mean = 65%; s.e.m. = 2; p<.03). This modulation was not found when viewing a face of a politician belonging to the opposite group (touch condition mean accuracy = 65%; s.e.m. = 3; no-touch condition mean accuracy = 67%; s.e.m. = 2; p = .33). The significant effect of this two-way interaction was largely due to the modulation of the detection of bilateral tactile stimuli by visual information. Indeed, the three way interaction Image X Touch X Side of tactile stimulation was significant [F(2,38) = 3.5; p<.05]. Response accuracy to bilateral trials was enhanced when political activists viewed faces of their own party leaders being touched (mean = 60%; s.e.m. = 3) in comparison to when they viewed faces of the opposite party leaders being touched (mean = 52%; s.e.m, = 4; p<.004). The In-group/Out-group difference was not found when the observed face was not touched (In-group: mean = 52%; s.e.m. = 3; Out-group: mean = 53%; s.e.m. = 4) (See Fig.3A). As in Experiment 1, detection of unilateral tactile stimuli was not modulated by viewing touch or no-touch on the observed faces (see Table 1).


I feel what you feel if you are similar to me.

Serino A, Giovagnoli G, Làdavas E - PLoS ONE (2009)

Visual enhancement of touch depends on the Political similarity between the observed and observer's face.Panel A: Tactile perception was enhanced when observers belonging to Democratic and Conservative parties viewed the face of a member of their own political party (In-group) rather than of the opposite (Out-group) political party. Panel B reports data from Conservative and Democratic observers plotted separately.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2654168&req=5

pone-0004930-g003: Visual enhancement of touch depends on the Political similarity between the observed and observer's face.Panel A: Tactile perception was enhanced when observers belonging to Democratic and Conservative parties viewed the face of a member of their own political party (In-group) rather than of the opposite (Out-group) political party. Panel B reports data from Conservative and Democratic observers plotted separately.
Mentions: As far Experiment 2 data are concerned, the main effect of Side of tactile stimulation was significant [F(38,2) = 30.88; p<.00001]. The detection of the strong tactile stimulation (mean accuracy = 89%; s.e.m. = 2) was better than those of the weak (mean = 57%; s.e.m. = 5; p<.0002) and bilateral (mean = 54%; s.e.m. = 3; p<.0002) tactile stimulation. Moreover, the two-way interaction Image by Touch condition was significant [F(1,19) = 9.26; p<.007]. Tactile detection was enhanced when viewing a face of a politician belonging to one's own political group being touched (mean = 70%; s.e.m. = 3) rather than being approached (mean = 65%; s.e.m. = 2; p<.03). This modulation was not found when viewing a face of a politician belonging to the opposite group (touch condition mean accuracy = 65%; s.e.m. = 3; no-touch condition mean accuracy = 67%; s.e.m. = 2; p = .33). The significant effect of this two-way interaction was largely due to the modulation of the detection of bilateral tactile stimuli by visual information. Indeed, the three way interaction Image X Touch X Side of tactile stimulation was significant [F(2,38) = 3.5; p<.05]. Response accuracy to bilateral trials was enhanced when political activists viewed faces of their own party leaders being touched (mean = 60%; s.e.m. = 3) in comparison to when they viewed faces of the opposite party leaders being touched (mean = 52%; s.e.m, = 4; p<.004). The In-group/Out-group difference was not found when the observed face was not touched (In-group: mean = 52%; s.e.m. = 3; Out-group: mean = 53%; s.e.m. = 4) (See Fig.3A). As in Experiment 1, detection of unilateral tactile stimuli was not modulated by viewing touch or no-touch on the observed faces (see Table 1).

Bottom Line: Social interactions are influenced by the perception of others as similar or dissimilar to the self.Such judgements could depend on physical and semantic characteristics, such as membership in an ethnic or political group.In a first experiment, Caucasian and Maghrebian participants viewed a face belonging either to their own or to a different ethnic group; in a second experiment, Liberal and Conservative politically active participants viewed faces of politicians belonging to their own or to the opposite political party.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, Italy. andrea.serino@unibo.it

ABSTRACT
Social interactions are influenced by the perception of others as similar or dissimilar to the self. Such judgements could depend on physical and semantic characteristics, such as membership in an ethnic or political group. In the present study we tested whether social representations of the self and of others could affect the perception of touch. To this aim, we assessed tactile perception on the face when subjects observed a face being touched by fingers. In different conditions we manipulated the identity of the shown face. In a first experiment, Caucasian and Maghrebian participants viewed a face belonging either to their own or to a different ethnic group; in a second experiment, Liberal and Conservative politically active participants viewed faces of politicians belonging to their own or to the opposite political party. The results showed that viewing a touched face most strongly enhanced the perception of touch on the observer's face when the observed face belonged to his/her own ethnic or political group.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus