Warm or Cold Interactions
We use adjectives likes warm and cold to describe someones attitude toward us. “When we use these terms, we’re not really concerned with physical temperature, but our findings suggest that our dual use of the word “warm” is neither haphazard nor accidental.” says a researcher Laurence E. Williams. A new theory suggest that people are more trusting of a stranger when they experience physical warmth.Williams says that even just handling a hot cup of coffee can change someones attitude positively. In a paper published in the journal Science, Williams talks about a study that he did at Yale University.“The basic scientific implication is about exploring the link between the physical world and the psychological world,” said Williams. To test his theory out, he would use either a hot or iced coffee. A confederate would escort the test subjects from the lobby of the psychology building and rode the elevator to the test area with them. The confederate had a clipboard, two text books, and a hot or iced coffee. During the elevator ride, the confederate would ask the subject to hold the coffee for them while they recorded their name and the time of their participation. "Holding the hot cup, Williams hypothesized, would prime the subject to have a more positive appraisal of a hypothetical person they read about once they reached the testing room." Williams turned out to be right. People who held the hot coffee perceived the confederate as being significantly "warmer" than the subjects who had held the cold coffee. “Experiences of physical temperature per se affect one’s impressions of and pro-social behavior toward other people, without one’s awareness of such influences,” said Williams.