November 27, 2008

Coffee or drink?

For a long time the question has been if you should ask someone out for coffee or for a drink. According to psychologists it's more likely to think warmly of someone if you're holding something warm in your hand.
The experimenters, Lawrence Williams of the University of Colorado and John Bargh of Yale, gave cups of either hot or iced coffee to people and asked them to rate someone’s personality based on a packet of information. The ones who held the hot cup rated that individual significantly higher for “warmth” than did the subjects holding the iced coffee.
The researchers say there is a connection between heat and emotion going back to our childhood. Recent brain imaging studies also show that the experience of hot or cold stimulus triggers activity in the insular cortex, the same area that can make people uncooperative and distrustful. So it appears like the effect of physical temperature is not just on how we see others, it affects our own behaviour as well.

Interesting stuff, so maybe asking someone out for coffee isn't that bad at all?

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