"I thought I would investigate this a couple years ago. My real interest was to find out if touching would somehow make people "nicer," especially towards strangers. But I couldn't crack the lawsuit problem: if I asked participants in an experiment to touch each other, surely someone would be touched inappropriately and I would get sued. And for most of us, being forced to touch someone is weird and uncomfortable. Touch needs to be freely given and accepted to have a positive effect.

So, what to do? Many of the experiments I run involve blood draws, and I noticed that when one has a white lab coat on it is easy and acceptable to comfort a nervous person with a touch on the shoulder. Then it hit me: clinicians can touch us in a caring way and it doesn't bother us."

So what you're saying, Paul, is that you couldn't do the experiment in scientifically rigorous controlled conditions, like an adult, so you put on your "Stand Back - I'm doing SCIENCE!" shirt and pretended to do a scientifically rigorous controlled experiment with meaningful objective results, without actually doing so.

And you're drawing inferences from that which are -- surprise -- not valid.

Presumably you call yourself a "neuroeconomist" so that nobody inadvertently mistakes you for someone who knows what they're talking about and is involved with real science. Even if that's not actually the reason, I appreciate the courtesy that such a designation makes it easy to tell the difference.