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Running Head: HUGS FOR HAPPIENESS

Individuals Reaction to Hug Offers From Same / Opposite Sex


Patrick Guarente, Bri Lamz, Alex Micci
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

HUGS FOR HAPPIENESS

Introduction
This social experiment is the pursuit of happiness through hugs. During this experiment,
random hugs are administered throughout campus. The results will be collected and stored based
on gender. The goal is to record data on what gender gets accepted by what gender, and to spread
happiness to the school. As reported in the article by Barbra A. Brown Hugs are a healthy way
to release serotonin in our brains. Lighta Kathleen C. also did a whole study of how hugs can
increase oxytocin levels that lowers blood pressure.
During this experiment there are some specific results expected. Mainly that opposite sex
will be more accepting of hugs from the opposite sex. Just from the sex drive of people and the
amount of homophobic atmosphere that is in our society. As you can see in Communicating
Social Presence through Thermal Hugs Embracing an individual can reduce stress to most, but
for those whom express homophobic attributes, it does the exact opposite.

Methods
Participants
This experiment was done by the three college students that wrote this paper, and the
subjects used for it were random people walking around UNCCs campus. Some young students
some older teachers, all different races. But the only thing accounted for in our data was the sex
of who is asked and if they either rejected the hug or accepted it. Trying to get as many hugs as
possible during the time between classes because this is the busiest time of the day. From
wondering around in front of the Belk tower, prospector and the union. What is said to be the
most congested parts of campus. The other day of experimenting they were all on their own with

HUGS FOR HAPPIENESS


the same test subjects. With again the only difference being no asking, just wearing the Free
Hugs t shirt.

Measurements
The only measurements used in this experiment was the difference in sex. Each
experimenters name with a log of guy and girl below. In those categories there is accepted and
rejected. And tallied of for each, suppose the experimenter, Alex, went up to a girl and asked for
a hug and was rejected. That tally would go under Alex-Girl-Rejected.

Procedure
The procedure for this experiment are quite simple. The experimenters (three college
students) walked around the campus and ask people, from both sexes, for hugs. A nice little sob
story line to incline them for a hug such as Im having a rough day, and was wondering if I
could have a hug. One of the biggest parts of this experiment is to make sure that the subjects
do not know that this is an experiment. By doing so they should make there discussion for the
hug as believable as possible, and keep the group members that are recording the data a safe
distance away so they dont see. The better this is done the more authentic the results will be.
For the second part of the experiment the students will walk around campus for an hour
each with a shirt that says Free Hugs. No more asking just wondering around, and each of
them keeping our own data for their hour with the shirt, while still distinguishing between which
sexes gives us hugs.

HUGS FOR HAPPIENESS

Results
Experimenters Guys
Accepted

Guys

Girls

Girls

Ratio

Ratio

Rejected

Accepted

Rejected

Guys

Girls

(Accept to

(Accept to

Reject)

Reject)

Bri (girl)

11

11:0

7:1

Alex (guy)

5:3

5:4

Pat (guy)

8:5

7:4

As shown in all of the ratios in the graph above, guys were not showing any interest in
hugging the same sex when asked by Alex or Pat. On the other hand girls showed more of an
interest in hugging the opposite sex when Alex or Pat asked them. Girls were not turned away
when asked by Bri for a hug considering it is the same gender. Like the girls that were asked by
Bri, the guys that Bri asked were also not turned away either.

Discussion
In this experiment the results were much different than the hypothesis. The students
hypothesis was that the opposite sex would be more accepting of hugs, both guys and girls. And
that the same sex would be more inclined to reject as we learned from Unsolicited Project
(2013). But the results were nothing along the lines of this, as you can see Bri, the girl, was
accepted by both guys and girls a lot more than the guys were. The hypothesis was wrong again
with how the two guys had almost the same ratio for both guys and girls.

HUGS FOR HAPPIENESS


The only few limits with this project is how the only subjects used were people on UNC
Charlotte campus. Even though this is a very wide variety of ages and race it still has a lot of
limits to it. Such as most students at the school are from North Carolina or the south in general.
While it is widely known that people from the south are friendlier then people from the north. In
turn would make them more inclined to accept the hug from others. There are also lots of society
that arent allowed to walk on the campus, such as criminals and people that have been kicked
off of it. Those individuals would be a lot more inclined to reject the hugs from the students.
Overall in the results from the experiment there can be many conclusions drawn. Even
though Bri was rejected by one girl most of the girls were a little hesitate on giving out the hugs.
While all the guys were more than happy to accept the hug, she could have gone to 11 more and
they would all have accepted it again. While to two guys had almost the same ratio of rejects to
accepts from both guys and girls. So the hypothesis that opposite sex would be more inclined for
the hugs was not true. The main conclusion that can be made is that either sex will most likely
accept hugs from a girl. While either sex is quite freaked out when random guys come up and
ask for a hug from them. But more the most part, every experimenter had more accepts then
rejects from both sexes. And after each hug the subjects left with a smile on their face and a few
laughs so the main goal of spreading happiness to UNC Charlotte was accomplished.

HUGS FOR HAPPIENESS

References

Brown Barbara A., Frankel Gail, and Fennell Marilyn P. (1989). Hugs or shrugs: Parental
and peer influence on continuity of involvement in sport by female adolescents. Sex Roles
401-405

Lighta Kathleen C., Grewena Karen M., Amicob Janet A. (2005). More frequent partner hugs
and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in
premenopausal women. Biological Psychology 9-13

Gooch Daniel, Watts Leon, (2010) Communicating social presence through thermal hugs, 1st
Workshop on Social Interaction in Spatially Separated Environments 43-47