Warm Hands, Warm Heart

Warmth has been identified as one of six vital characteristics of leadership. A true leader is empathetic and considerate to the thoughts and feeling of others, but how do we judge a person’s warmth?

Several studies on how people judge others as warm or cold all lead to the same general conclusion:

“Physical warmth affects interpersonal warmth.”

Yale Psychologist John A. Bargh even went so far as to say that a warm shower could be used “quite literally, to compensate for feeling socially cold.”

Bargh found that warmth can diminish feelings of loneliness and increase feeling of generosity. This theory is well demonstrated in a couple studies done by UCLA researcher Geoffery Ho. In his experiment, a group of people were asked to hold an ice pack and then answer questions about their job/ a hypothetical company. This was again repeated, but with a heating pad. What he found was that the people who held the heating pad and then answered questions expressed higher job satisfaction.

The same basic study was done again but with a few small differences. Subjects were given a warm cup of coffee (or an iced coffee) and a packet which asked them to rate the characteristics of a person. The people who had just held the warmer cup rated the characteristics of the stranger as much warmer in comparison to the the iced coffee drinkers.

Researchers also checked for a link between physical warmth and warm behaviors. (Before we continue, I should mention that warm traits include trustworthiness, friendliness, and helpfulness; all of which can be translated to behaviors like trust, helping, and friendliness)

What researchers found was that when given the choice of receiving a gift for themselves or for a friend, people who held the heating pad more likely chose to take the gift for their friend.

http://superperformance.com/6leadership.php

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737341/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201206/outside-in-heat-seekers

http://www.livescience.com/2992-warm-hands-people-generous.html

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1 Comment

  1. I have read this study as well…and this is the kind of information I was hoping you would include in your posts…graphics go with the text. A much better post!
    Rubric:
    some new information on the topic or reflective; informational post: attempts to synthesize information and form new meaning; well organized
    written in a somewhat interesting style and voice; words chosen mostly reflect author’s personality and brings content to life for the most part; sentence fluency is mostly achieved
    multimedia adds new information or perspective to post

    Reply

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