Touch Matters: Handshakes, Hugs, and the New Science on How Touch Can Enhance Your Well-Being (Hardcover)
**Book listings on our website do not always reflect the current availability of books on our store shelves. Check a book's in-store availability above the "add to cart" button. Or to be certain that a book you've found on our website is also here on our shelves, feel free to call us at 615-953-2243**
Every day, we use our sense of touch to navigate the world. A handshake, a pat on the shoulder, a hug—all are essential touches that make up our daily lives. In Touch Matters, social neuroscientist Michael Banissy brings together diverse scientific insights from the Touch Test—the world’s largest contemporary survey on touch, with 40,000 participants from 112 countries.
Professor Banissy unfolds the research behind why touch is essential to our well-being, combining expert findings with notable touch points in pop culture to explore the role it plays in our physical and digital social life, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and more. Learn why a hugged person is a happier person, why teams who high-five each other win more games, and how a handshake makes you more likely to tell the truth. Banissy offers a groundbreaking and surprising new perspective on touch, with guidance on how to enhance your level of touch for a happier, healthier life, exploring topics including:
- Your “touch personality”
- How touch defines our relationships and our self-esteem
- The impact of touch on our physical and mental health
- Cultural distinctions around touch and how to navigate them
- Solutions to the “touch hunger” that has become a modern epidemic
Touch Matters is a fascinating window into one of our most important and basic senses—and how to harness its power.
FEATURES ORIGINAL RESEARCH FROM "THE TOUCH TEST": Touch Matters is based on one of Banissy's most recent projects—the Touch Test—a science and broadcast collaboration with the BBC and Wellcome Collection. This project explored attitudes and experiences of touch via the world's largest contemporary survey on the topic, public exhibitions, and a series of broadcast programs focused on the topic of touch that received worldwide attention. The project had approximately 40,000 participants from 112 countries.
OFFERS GUIDANCE ON COMMUNICATING AND CONNECTING IN OUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIVES: As we return to office work and live in a world where touch has become loaded with meaning, this book will help people understand how important touch is and the role it plays in every aspect of our lives, from relationships and friendships to the workplace and team activities and much more.
- Readers interested in science, psychology, and self-help
- Fans of James Nestor's Breath, Marc Brackett's Permission to Feel, Bill Bryson's The Body, Mark Miodownik's Stuff Matters
- Adults and parents of children resuming in-person activities including going back to the office, returning to school, traveling, and socializing
- Those interested in learning more about the science of touch, touch starvation, and how important touch is to child/human development
- People struggling with depression or anxiety around physical contact
—Mark Harper, MD, PhD, author of Chill
“Brilliantly crafted and easy to read, Banissy’s Touch Matters employs masterful storytelling and empirical research to facilitate your understanding of touch neuroscience. In doing so, he also subtly nudges you to examine your personal views of touch so you can enjoy a more successful social life."
—Bryan Fuller, author of Exploring Touch as a Positive Workplace Behavior; professor, Louisiana Tech University
“[Touch Matters] examines how vital the sense of touch is to our health and relationships. As an award—winning social neuroscience professor, Banissy uses one of the largest studies on touch to help readers enhance their self—esteem, find their “touch personalities” and harness the role it plays in friendships, professional settings, personal settings and more. Just like the effects of exercise on our emotions, our senses and the environments in which we live impact every ounce of our well—being.”
“In Touch Matters, Banissy teaches the reader how and why we would do well to think about the meaning, importance, and diverse nature of touch. Banissy deftly illustrates how alleviating ‘touch hunger’ can improve mental and physical well—being and how technology will help touch enhance our lives in the future.”
—Mark Harper, MD, PhD, author of Chill
“Touch is our original and perhaps most primal sense. Banissy seamlessly integrates information from multiple sources to show just how much touch matters to our well—being and how much we suffer when our needs for touch go unmet. Although the book is solidly data—based, his personable, engaging style of writing makes reading it feel more like having a conversation with a good friend. We have needed a book like this for some time.”
—Kory Floyd, PhD, author of The Loneliness Cure
“Michael Banissy likens touch to the great benefits and dangers of fire. Just the right amount is essential for human flourishing, but too much or at the wrong time can be dangerous. His unique perspective on the importance of human touch is critical to consider in this age of touchless medicine and relationships. His book is required reading if you are a human being.”
—Steven Y. Park, MD, author of the bestseller Sleep, Interrupted: A Physician Reveals The #1 Reason Why So Many Of Us Are Sick And Tired
“Exploring a feeling that we rarely ever think about, Michael Banissy opens up a universe of sensation and examines the many ways touch affects out social connections and well–being.”
—Richard E Cytowic, MD MFA, professor of neurology, George Washington University
“From hand—holding to hitting to high—fiving, touch is loaded with emotion. Michael Banissy offers us a mind—expanding tour of what touch means—from universal similarities to individual differences—while revealing why our brains seek contact as much as sound and sight.”
—David Eagleman, neuroscientist, Stanford University, author of Incognito and Livewired
“An interesting and informative book by one of the best psychotherapists working today. Michael’s book is easy to read and doesn’t get bogged down in academic jargon, which makes the work accessible to everyone.” —Patrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen Advantage and The Breathing Cure
“An engaging look at why touch is so central to human wellbeing—something increasingly recognized during lockdown. Here is the why, together with a run-down of the cultural and gender differences in touch.” —The Bookseller (UK)