The Psychology of Touch

The Psychology of Touch

The Psychology of Touch

The Psychology of Touch


Designed to make research on touch understandable to those not specifically involved in tactile research, this book provides broad coverage of the field. It includes material on sensory physiology and psychophysics, thermal sensibility, pain, pattern participation, sensory aids, and tactile perception in blind people.

While the volume is important for researchers in the area of touch, it should also prove valuable to a broad audience of experimental and educational psychologists, and health professionals. The book should also be of interest to scientists in perception, cognition, and cognitive science, and can be used as a supplementary reader for courses in sensation and perception.


The Psychology of Touch is designed to appeal to a broad audience of experimental psychologists, researchers, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates. Many of the chapters are important reading for educators of people with perceptual impairments, special education students, medical and dental students, nursing students, and other workers in health-related fields. Most chapters require minimal specialized knowledge, because the authors have defined terms and explained methodology for readers outside of the immediate research area. This book is particularly useful as an adjunct to courses in sensation and perception, at the graduate and advanced undergraduate level.

The editors wish to point out that there is no "single theory" of touch. The field has not progressed to the point where we have theoretical conformity, because too many issues remain unresolved. We should note that haptics shares this status with most other fields of perception and psychology. Some researchers have adopted a Gibsonian approach (Epstein, Hughes, Schneider, & Bach-y-Rita, 1989; Solomon & Turvey, 1988). Others have made use of information-processing types of experimental paradigms (e.g., Horner & Craig, 1989; Manning, 1980); still many other researchers do not clearly fit into a single theoretical mold.

There is more to the psychology of touch than "meets the hand." Although many people may not associate touch with philosophy, there is a broad literature encompassing philosophical issues related to tactile perception. Of course, philosophy is only one of many related content areas, that also in-

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