Nothing beats great company, wonderful conversation and a hot cup of cocoa- all while you’re curled up inside – to a blisteringly cold winter’s evening. The warmth exuding from cup, company and conversation create even the harshest of times so much easier and enjoyable. But that is just me and my private fancies- right?
The secret isn’t in if you put in a dash of marshmallows to your hot chocolate or not (although some readers would disagree disagree!) .
In the study, participants were encouraged in sets of two to rate a literary person on character traits. On the way into the testing room, each pair was obtained from the lobby and one was given a warm cup of coffee while another an iced cold coffee. Researchers always noticed that the participant carrying a hot cup of java tended to see the test subject as a warmer individual, while the player sipping cold coffee was slower to’warm up’ to him.
The findings of this test may seem arbitrary as a standalone point of reference, but within the larger body of work that investigates the connection between touch and emotion, the findings come as anything but a surprise. From a young age, the association between signature and emotional growth is strong and clear – after all we do believe both! Being tactile is a vital feature of the psychological experience; think about how you reaffirm your emotions with mild gestures, gentle taps or full blown hugs, or how just holding a person’s hand can help them open up emotionally to you, even if they’re unable to do so. The connect between emotion and touch is more than individual temperament, and is very important to the human experience.
Interestingly social standards and expectations frequently establish strict limits on the frequency and nature of touch between men and women in social interactions- strangers or otherwise. It would explain why one culture may get another way too’cold’ for comfort, or the latter may believe the former as overly’touchy-feely’. In any event it seems that touch is extremely conducive to social bonding, providing our body a concrete memory to anchor a sense or experience in.
But coming back to my glorious cup of hot cocoa, there isn’t any easier and surer way to heat up to a different person than to sip one. A hot drink makes for much warmer times- my grandma always said that and not she’s science in tow.