Warm hands, warm heart says research
Being warm makes people more cooperative, according to research carried out by the University of South Wales.
The findings of the study, which was conducted by Simon Storey and Professor Lance Workman, are to be presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference today (8 May).
Some 60 students were asked to take part in the research that made use of the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma (IPD) task to measure cooperation.
Volunteers were initially given either a hot or cold object to hold and were then told to carry out the IPD test.
Those who held the hot objects were found to be comparatively much more cooperative than their fellow participants.
Giving a possible theory behind the outcome, Professor Workman explained that "there is evidence that, during our evolution, the part of the brain responsible for processing interpersonal warmth came to 'piggyback' on top of the part of the brain responsible for physical warmth".
He explained that the IPD task had been used to measure cooperation because it is "a well-established tool" for doing so. However, he hinted the team believes people who were given a sensation of warmth would likely cooperate in many other situations.
Want to comment on this news story? Then sign in to our website to submit a comment. All comments are submitted for moderation.
Anyone can join the BPS, from just £10 a year. Our members and subscribers enjoy a range of benefits such as the Society's monthly magazine, The Psychologist; opportunities to influence and engage with the profession by joining a committee or taking part in consultations; online access to our journals; reduced rates at conferences and events; and on CPD courses and books; and access to a range of work and lifestyle benefits.
Further details of the different member and subscriber packages, including details of how to apply are here.
Once you have joined the Society, you can access our professional and membership groups. These groups are a great opportunity to network and communicate with like-minded people with similar interests.