Free hugs? Kelowna students launch social experiment

Are all hugs the same? Some local students went out and measured.

Free hugs?

That’s what Kelowna resident Sarah Holland was dishing up this Valentine’s Day while at Orchard Park mall.

It was an offer that 30 people took her up on over the course of the 10 minutes she was standing near the foodcourt.

While it may have seemed like a loving gesture on the day of Love, Holland explained that there was more to her hug than one might expect.

“It’s for our psychology project,” said Holland, pointing to a few of her friends who were sitting at a bench nearby watching the interactions and taking count of how many there were.


They were going to be doing the same thing across the mall for another friend who may not look quite as welcoming to all she met. That friend was going to be scruffy, and possibly appear as though she was without a fixed address.

The aim was to measure the bias.

The experiment didn’t go on long before a security guard told Holland to move along. We’ve yet to hear how the hug tally came out, but if you see this please update us, Sarah.

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