In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, couples the world over will be thinking about how they can convey their love to their partner in a meaningful and lasting manner.
One of the most obvious ways a person can share their feelings is through physical gestures such as hugs which, according to new research from the University of Dundee, last an average of three seconds.
The study into the post-competition embraces of Olympic athletes, which was published in the latest edition of the Journal of Ethology, was led by Dr Emese Nagy, from the University’s School of Psychology.
This research confirmed that a hug lasts about as long as many other human actions, and supports a hypothesis that we go through life perceiving the present in a series of about three-second windows.
Cross-cultural studies over the past century have shown that people tend to operate in these bursts. Goodbye waves, musical phrases, and infants’ bouts of babbling and gesturing all last about three seconds.
‘What we have is very broad research showing that we experience the world in these three-second time frames,’ Dr Nagy explained.