University of Twente Student Theses


Social Touch: Investigating the effect of mediated social touch on social presence

Konda, Mayuresh Vasudevan (2022) Social Touch: Investigating the effect of mediated social touch on social presence.

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Abstract:In the last pandemic, people understood the importance of physical social interaction and with it realized the importance of touch. A loss of touch for a prolonged period was found to be detrimental to one’s mental health. Mediated touch technologies proved to be useful since people could communicate social touch easily over the internet. However, more research in terms of presence and empathy was required. This study aims to answer, “How does a vibrotactile sleeve affect the perception of presence with the other during remote communication in affective relationships?”. Concepts such as touch starvation, social touch, mediated touch, and social connectedness were taken as starting points. Furthermore, various state-of-the-art devices regarding mediated touch are also discussed. Based on these technologies and the concepts, a design criterion for building the interaction and setup was made, followed by the methodology for conducting the experiment. 22 pairs of individuals in affective relationships with each other participated in the study. While the implementation succeeded in providing comfort, it could not provide conclusive results for perception of presence. As such, various reasons, insights, and limitations are discussed which could help for future research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
TNO, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:01 general works, 30 exact sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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