But the UK is not where you'd think
A recent study by The University of Oxford and Aalto University in Finland set out to find the cuddliest nationalities in Europe by surveying people from Finland, France, Italy, Russia and the UK, which they then ranked their ‘touchability index’ by using a heat map to find out where they felt they were the most comfortable being touched.
Based on their responses, the survey found that the countries ranked from the cuddliest to the least cuddliest were:
Oxford University’s Prof. Robin Dunbar, who co-authored the study, was surprised by the results, ‘We hadn’t expected the Finns to turn out to be the most cuddly people.’
In fact, the Finnish reported a much higher enthusiasm to touch, while the British – true to form – were the lowest ranked on the touchability index. Though to the researcher’s shock, even Italians were just as bad, ranking only slightly higher than the Russians.
From the survey, the Finns’ responses showed that the higher their emotional bond was with the person doing the touching, the more comfortable they were to touch. Dunbars concluded that the opposite was also true – the more touchable a person is, the more likely an emotional bond may develop.
So why are the British the least touchable? Well, the study didn’t go so far as to answer that question, but it is important to note that the differences between the two countries weren’t significant enough to be conclusive. With a small sample size of only 1,300 people, more people would need to take part to find if there really were any cultural differences to touch.