----- With Hot Coffee, We See a Warm Heart, Yale Researchers Find Published: October 23, 2008
New Haven, Conn. — Our judgment of a person’s character can be influenced by something as simple as the warmth of the drink we hold in our hand.
In the current issue of the journal Science, Yale University psychologists show that people judged others to be more generous and caring if they had just held a warm cup of coffee and less so if they had held an iced coffee. In a second study, they showed people are more likely to give something to others if they had just held something warm and more likely take something for themselves if they held something cold.
The study builds upon earlier work by the authors that shows the physical distance between individuals also influences their social judgments about another person.
The research suggests that saying that someone is warm or that you feel distant from a friend or relative are more than simple metaphors. They are literal descriptions of emotions such as trust, first experienced during the intimate bond formed between mother and child during infancy. (http://opa.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=6142)