Hugology - New Study Compares The Personality of Affectionate and Unaffectionate People

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A recent study by reveals that people who are comfortable being affectionate are also kinder, more likeable, and more confident.

Affectionate people are not just lovey-dovey. There also more confident, resilient, and likeable than unaffectionate people.

Being affectionate entails more than the use of your lips. It also requires confidence, trust, and open-mindedness.

There’s a lot that goes into affection. It’s not just about giving love, it’s also about showing kindness, being open-minded, altruistic, sociable, and trusting.

Kisses and hugs come in many styles. There are the two-cheek kissers (and three, and four), the Eskimo kissers (who don’t actually use their lips, but their noses), and those haughty “air-kissers”. There’s also the “barely there” hug that scarcely lasts a second, and the full-on bear hug that may leave your ribs hurting for a day or two. Not everyone is into PDA, however, from anyone…at any time. Does it stem from a discomfort with emotions in general, or a desire to appear stoic and manly? Researchers at Queendom affectionately shed some light on the personality profile of people who are comfortable showing physical affection, such as hugs, kisses, hand-holding and non-sexual touches.

Analyzing data from 9,568 who took the Big Five Personality Test, researchers at Queendom compared physically affectionate people to their unaffectionate counterparts on 40 different personality traits. Here are the differences that stood out the most: (Note: Scores can range from 0 to 100)

> Score for affectionate group: 82
> Score for unaffectionate group: 36
> 46-point difference between the two groups

> Score for affectionate group: 72
> Score for unaffectionate group: 47
> 25-point difference between the two groups

> Score for affectionate group: 71
> Score for unaffectionate group: 51
> 20-point difference between the two groups

> Score for affectionate group: 75
> Score for unaffectionate group: 59
> 16-point difference between the two groups

> Score for affectionate group: 77
> Score for unaffectionate group: 64
> 13-point difference between the two groups

> Score for affectionate group: 83
> Score for unaffectionate group: 72
> 11-point difference between the two groups

> Ambiverts, which means that they share characteristics of both extroverts and introverts (score of 54 vs. 32 for unaffectionate people, who have more introverted tendencies).
> More trusting, but not naively so. They believe that trust should be earned (score of 58 vs. 36 for unaffectionate people, who tend to be rather cautious with their trust).
> More comfortable talking about their innermost thoughts and feelings but, once again, only with people they trust (score of 57 vs. 30 for unaffectionate people, who are much less likely to self-disclose).
> More open-minded (score of 68 vs. 58 for unaffectionate people).
> More sociable, although not excessively so (score of 51 vs. 29 for unaffectionate people).
> More altruistic, but not to the point where it deters from their own happiness - they take care of themselves too (score of 66 vs. 52 for unaffectionate people).
> More optimistic or positive, but with a healthy dose of realism (score of 63 vs. 44 for unaffectionate people, who have more pessimistic inclinations).
> More resilient (score of 69 vs. 45 for unaffectionate people).
> More adaptable (score of 63 vs. 50 for unaffectionate people).
> And even more likely to show leadership potential (score of 63 vs. 43 for unaffectionate people).

“Giving a kiss, a hug, or even just a pat on the back may seem like an effortless gesture, but some people feel quite awkward, if not ill-at-ease, offering and receiving affection,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests, the parent company of Queendom. “It often comes to down to factors like early childhood socialization, emotional intelligence development, and parenting style. Affection is love in action. If children are not raised with very warm and responsive parents and were not shown much love, they are less likely as adults to be comfortable talking about their feelings, being in emotional situations, and being affectionate. When you express your feelings physically, you’re communicating to a person how much you love them. This in and of itself requires a comfort with vulnerability, of having your feelings exposed. That simple kiss or hug says ‘I am strong enough and confident enough to show you how much I care’. So what this study has shown us is that there’s a lot that goes into affection. It’s not just about giving love, it’s also about being kind, open-minded, altruistic, sociable, and trusting.”

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About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see

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Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D.
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