• Tactile emoticons: Conveying social emotions and intentions with manual and robotic tactile feedback during social media communications

Saramandi, Alkistis ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1620-4190, Au, Yee Ki, Koukoutsakis, Athanasios, Zheng, Caroline Yan, Godwin, Adrian, Bianchi-Berthouze, Nadia, Jewitt, Carey, Jenkinson, Paul M and Fotopoulou, Aikaterini ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0904-7967, 2024, Journal Article, Tactile emoticons: Conveying social emotions and intentions with manual and robotic tactile feedback during social media communications PloS one, 19 (6). pp. 1-27. ISSN 1932-6203

Abstract or Description:

Touch offers important non-verbal possibilities for socioaffective communication. Yet most digital communications lack capabilities regarding exchanging affective tactile messages (tactile emoticons). Additionally, previous studies on tactile emoticons have not capitalised on knowledge about the affective effects of certain mechanoreceptors in the human skin, e.g., the C-Tactile (CT) system. Here, we examined whether gentle manual stroking delivered in velocities known to optimally activate the CT system (defined as 'tactile emoticons'), during lab-simulated social media communications could convey increased feelings of social support and other prosocial intentions compared to (1) either stroking touch at CT sub-optimal velocities, or (2) standard visual emoticons. Participants (N = 36) felt more social intent with CT-optimal compared to sub-optimal velocities, or visual emoticons. In a second, preregistered study (N = 52), we investigated whether combining visual emoticons with tactile emoticons, this time delivered at CT-optimal velocities by a soft robotic device, could enhance the perception of prosocial intentions and affect participants' physiological measures (e.g., skin conductance rate) in comparison to visual emoticons alone. Visuotactile emoticons conveyed more social intent overall and in anxious participants affected physiological measures more than visual emoticons. The results suggest that emotional social media communications can be meaningfully enhanced by tactile emoticons. [Abstract copyright: Copyright: © 2024 Saramandi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.]

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Communication
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0304417
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intention; Humans; Male; Robotics; Touch - physiology; Social Media; Young Adult; Communication; Adult; Female; Emotions - physiology; Touch Perception - physiology
SWORD Depositor: Unnamed user with username publicationrouter
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2024 12:42
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 12:42
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5872
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