Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

The Positive Effects Of Fist-Bumps And High-Fives

Share This Resource

PCA National Advisory Board Member Dacher Keltner is a Psychology Professor and the Director of the Greater Good Science Center (@GreaterGoodSC) at UC-Berkeley. Keltner is most famous in the sports world for his study on NBA teams, when he identified a link between positive, supportive ‘touching’ (such as high-fives) and success on the court. Keltner is also a published author, most recently publishing The Power Paradox.

When players express gratitude through positive touch, it can be very powerful in forming team bonds, Keltner says. Whether it's a fist-bump, a high-five, or hug, this is just another way teammates can say thank you to one another. Although not typically thought of as a way teammates can affirm one another, these positive touches are yet another way teammates can positively interact with their teammates to motivate them to be their best.