HCAS People Contact Information

    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Niklas Ravaja

Ravaja imagePhD (Psychology)

Room 227

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel: + 358 (0)2941 24885    
Email  niklas.ravaja (AT) helsinki.fi


Research Interests

  • Mediated social interaction
  • Emotions
  • Neurophysiology

Current Research

The virtual Midas touch: The effects of cybertouch on social decision making

The multidisciplinary research project is expected to provide new and comprehensive knowledge on technology-mediated social touch (virtual Midas touch after the mythological king) in the context of social decision making (e.g., human cooperation, trust, compliance, and generosity) and on the underlying neurophysiological processes. By studying how the sense of touch, enabled through modern communication technology, affects the sharing of emotion, new and profound insights on the hot topic of embodied cognition are also generated. The study will examine the effects of mediated social touch on subjective experiences and human cooperation, trust, compliance, and generosity as well as the conditions for the effects to be observed. We present the following broad research questions:

(a) how the characteristics (e.g., type, intensity) of mediated touch and body location affect its effects on the outcome variables,

(b) how the interpretation and effects of mediated touch varies depending on contextual factors, such as interactants' facial expressions, gender, ethnicity, and social relationship (e.g., friend vs. stranger), and

(c) which neurophysiological processes underlie the behavioral effects of mediated touch?