Friday, November 11, 2011

Playing "Footsie" in Social Research

There are guilty pleasures in psychology! Mine happens to be social psychology, which has oodles of fun research to amaze and amuse, as well as to provide reassurance that all is not bound up in physiological processes.

Daniel Wegner and his colleagues gave a previously-unacquainted man and a woman instructions covertly to play "footsie" under the table (keeping their feet in contact) while talking to two other strangers who were not covertly carrying on in the same manner. Other subjects played "footsie" overtly, with the knowledge of everyone around.

Afterwards, the participants were given a questionnaire.

According to the results, those covert "footsie" participants were more attracted to each other than were the ones touched each other's feet openly! Apparently, the secretiveness of it all heightened the implicit attraction associated with this semi-intimate action. Keeping this in mind, the old high school strategy of playing "footsie" with someone else's b.f. might be an effective strategy for "mate poaching," not that I ever did such a nefarious thing!

Reflecting back, many of the ordinary pleasures of adolescence involved getting away with something!
 
Wegener, D. M., Lane, J. D., and Dimitri, S. (1994). The nature of secret relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 782-792.


9 comments:

Bilbo said...

I once heard hand-holding referred to as "interdigital intercourse." What would be the equivalent for footsie-playing ... "phalangeal foolery"?

Duckbutt said...

This is really cool! Who says psychology can't be entertaining?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Phalangeal foolery sounds good. It can be played for keeps, too.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Those psychologists must have been very sexually inexperienced. The feet are as much an erogenous zone as the breasts.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Hmmm . . . . maybe I shouldn't play fotsie until the sixth date?

Bilbo said...

I, myself, have always found arms to be very erogenous. Go figure.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

I'm glad you posted yourself in the hot bikini pic, Angel!

Grenouille Fille said...

evil pop tart, if you have gone out with a fellow six times surely you are ending the evening in bed together.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Frannie, delayed sex is so much sweeter!