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Openly expressing affection or other emotions, especially through physical contact. In its literal senses, touchy-feely is associated with the development in the 1960s and 1970s of encounter groups in which participants sought psychological benefit through close contact with one another. By the 1990s, the figurative use of the term was strongly established; it is often used to sum up the attitude implicit in the ‘caring nineties’ and the values of a New Age society.

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