It seems to me an awful lot of these published research studies point out in great detail things anybody could have told the researchers.
From the introduction:
“Functional intimacy induces discomfort, making people prefer greater social distance from their interaction partner,” said Fishbach. “Whereas intimacy for relational goals typically increases well-being and deepens social connection, intimacy for functional goals seems to produce discomfort and instead result in social distancing.”
For example, if you are being willingly touched by a romantic partner, you are likely to react positively and enjoy the experience. You are also more likely to socialize, since the intimacy you experience together is a result of your emotional closeness.
On the other hand, if you are being touched by a security guard at the airport, you do not have any sort of emotional connection or history to share.
“Submitting yourself to being ‘intimately groped’ by strangers at airport security is at odds with normal human emotion,” Fishbach said. Therefore, in an act of discomfort, you are more likely to recoil, divert your eyes and experience visibly negative emotions.
The study presents a novel point of view for both service providers and service recipients.
No, it doesn’t. It states the bloody obvious.
Of course I’m one of those people who can’t receive a massage from a stranger, even one I’m pretty sure isn’t going to try to kill me, so I’m probably not in the study’s target audience. But still every time I encounter one of these I can’t help wondering who pretended to be convinced that this is real research, and whose extorted money paid for it.