Psychology Magazine

The Science of Hugs?

By Deric Bownds @DericBownds

Schultz describes an entertaining bit of work pursuing the obvious done by Düren Guys hugging each other use their arms differently than women do, more frequently doing a crisscross hug (on the left) than a neck-waist hug (on the right), most likely because the neck-waist hug feels a bit more intimate.

The Science of Hugs?
Without prompting the students on how to hug, the researchers found the crisscross style was more common, accounting for 66 out of 100 hugs. The preference for crisscross was especially prevalent in pairs of men, with 82% of 28 observed pairs opting for the style. Neither emotional closeness nor height had significant effects on the style of hugging; however, the researchers note that most participants were relatively close in height, and they guess that neck-waist might be more common when heights differ more drastically.

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