Touch Apprehension Scale


Author of Tool: 

Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C.

Key references: 

Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (2004). Nonverbal behavior in interpersonal relations (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 

Primary use / Purpose: 

Assesses how comfortable people are with various forms of touching


While differences in touching behavior are impacted by culture, there are also large differences in touching behavior within any given culture. This individual difference has a meaningful impact on nonverbal communication. In the North American Culture, touch is the most potent nonverbal communication variable. However, since this culture is a touch avoidant culture, often touch results in miscommunication-liking or rewarding that touch may be intended to communicate may be received as offensive groping by the receiver. Often this leads people recommend that, particularly in the work environment, people not touch at all. The Touch Apprehension Scale measures levels of touch apprehension, and should be used to assess fear of repercussions related to touch in the workplace and other scenarios. 


Alpha reliability estimates for this instrument should be expected to be above .80.


PDF iconTouch Apprehension Scale and Instructions

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