A study suggests touching something warm can make you feel and act more warmly toward others.
Scientists recruited Yale students for what they thought was personality research. A lab worker escorted each participant up the elevator of the psychology building and asked for help holding her cup of coffee, either hot or iced, while she recorded the student's name.
Inside the lab, the students were given a description of a fictitious person described as industrious, cautious and determined, and then rated that person's presumed personality traits.
Students who had held the hot cup saw the person as more generous, sociable and good-natured than those who had held the cold cup, all traits that psychologists consider part of a "warm" personality.
But the researchers reported in the journal Science say there were no differences between the two groups on ratings of honesty, attractiveness or strength, traits not associated with either warm or cold personalities.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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