Warm Hands, Warm Heart

Posted on 01. Feb, 2010 by in In the News

Holding a hot cup of coffee may lead you to judge a stranger as a “warmer” person, specifically in terms of kindness and generosity, than if you were holding a cup of iced coffee. A new study in Science finds that holding something warm also makes you more likely to give to others, while holding something cold makes you more likely to take something for yourself.

“Simply holding a warm or cold object can influence people’s interpersonal judgments and decisions,” says the study’s lead researcher Lawrence Williams of the University of Colorado. “The metaphorical relationship between physical temperatures and interpersonal warm or cold feelings is not haphazard or accidental,” he says, “but reveals something interesting about the way the mind works, in that a cue from their physical domain can have such a meaningful impact on psychological outcomes.”

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