The Touch Test - The Results


20201006The BBC Touch Test was launched in collaboration with Wellcome Collection in January 2020. Nearly 40,000 people from 112 countries took part. It is the world’s largest study on attitudes to touch and asks questions about many different aspects of touch in daily life. The results have now been analysed by researchers from Goldsmiths University of London and Greenwich University.
Touch is said to be the first sense to develop but is it also the most underrated?
Claudia Hammond and Professor Michael Banissy look at the major findings of the study, with Radio One DJ Greg James, philosopher and neuroscientist Ophelia Deroy, comedian and founder of Tourettesheros Jess Thom and playwright V. We look at how touch maintains social bonds, the role of touch in caring, ask if men’s attitudes to touch are changing and how touch effects our health and sleep.
The Covid pandemic has changed how we think about touch, so are we in a crisis of touch as well as a health crisis? How have feelings of touch hunger changed since March, do people think they are getting enough, what impact is the lockdown is having on many professions such as doctors, nurses and paramedics. And how do people cope when their loved ones are seriously ill and they are not able to touch them. How does lack of touch impact grief?

Claudia Hammond reveals the results of the world's largest study of attitudes to touch.