A simple touch can communicate a lot.
That's the theory laid out by doctors in a New York Times piece. They say touch can communicate more… and more quickly and accurately… than words can. So they took to the world of sports to test their theory.
In a paper due out this year in the journal Emotion, Mr. Kraus and
his co-authors, Cassy Huang and Dr. Keltner, report that with a few
exceptions, good teams tended to be touchier than bad ones. The most
touch-bonded teams were the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers,
currently two of the league’s top teams; at the bottom were the mediocre
Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats.
The same was true, more
or less, for players. The touchiest player was Kevin Garnett, the
Celtics’ star big man, followed by star forwards Chris Bosh of the
Toronto Raptors and Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz. “Within 600
milliseconds of shooting a free throw, Garnett has reached out and
touched four guys,” Dr. Keltner said.
Garnett has also within 300 milliseconds probably unleashed a stream of multi-syllabic curses… but that's outside the scope of the study. KG definitely is a big high-fiver.
I wonder if they count all the times he chest thumps himself?
You know, Chuck and I are firm believers in communicating by touch. That's why we like to go to local colleges and communicate to the girls that we appreciate how hard they're working. And they like to communicate back… usually with an open hand to the face. And then the local police like to communicate with us too… but I don't think the batons count in this study.
Thanks to Ian for passing this along. I had to thank you, Ian, because everyone here knows there's no possible way I was reading the NY Times. You got a big hug coming your way.