Emotions associated with different textures during touch.
Haptics plays an important role in emotion perception. However, most studies of the affective aspects of haptics have investigated emotional valence rather than emotional categories. In the present study, we explored the associations of different textures with six basic emotions: fear, anger, happiness, disgust, sadness and surprise. Participants touched twenty-one different textures and evaluated them using six emotional scales. Additionally, we explored whether individual differences in participants' levels of alexithymia are related to the intensity of emotions associated with touching the textures. Alexithymia is a trait related to difficulties in identifying, describing and communicating emotions to others. The findings show that people associated touching different textures with distinct emotions. Textures associated with each of the basic emotions were identified. The study also revealed that a higher alexithymia level corresponds to a higher intensity of associations between textures and the emotions of disgust, anger and sadness.