"It may seem unlikely, but simply clutching a warm cup of coffee can bring on a flood of warm feelings, U.S. researchers said on Thursday in a finding that suggests a strong link between physical and emotional warmth. "Physical warmth can make us see others as warmer people, but also cause us to be warmer -- more generous and trusting -- as well," said John Bargh, a professor of psychology at Yale University in Connecticut, whose research appears in the journal Science." (article in Reuters, October 24, 2008) For the full article, click here .
Another article on the same study appeared in the Tierney Lab section of the New York Times on October 23, 2008...
"... you’re more likely to think warmly of someone else if you’re holding something warm in your hand like a mug of coffee or tea. 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.
... “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,” Dr. Williams said. “At a board meeting, for instance, being willing to reach out and touch another human being, to shake their hand, those experiences do matter although we may not always be aware of them. In a restaurant, it’s been shown that wait staff who touch customers usually get a better tip. It’s a nice gesture, but it also has a warming effect.
... Will this news change strategies for business meetings and first dates? Should Starbucks’ stockholders rejoice? Will waiters in search of tips start pushing hot drinks and keep finding excuses to touch you?"
We could all use a little more warmth in our lives, especially when you consider the state of the world today, so put the kettle on and invite someone over for a cup of tea.
The diagram is from Coffee Drinks Illustrated.