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What You Touch May Make You a 'Softie' or Play 'Hard Ball'
Date:6/25/2010

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A third experiment by the Yale team found that people who'd handled rough jigsaw puzzle pieces were more likely to describe an interaction between two people as adversarial, compared to folks who'd first handled smooth pieces.

And a 2008 study by the same team showed that people were more likely to judge strangers as warm and trustworthy if they (the observers) were also holding a warm drink at the time.

There may be some lessons here for helping to get things to go your way, Bargh said.

"Someone said the best way to negotiate is to give a hot cup of coffee and sit them in a soft chair," he said. "The warmth helps them trust you, the soft chair will make the negotiator more yielding."

More information

The Children's Mercy Hospital has more on infants' sense of touch.

SOURCES: John Bargh, Ph.D., professor, psychology and cognitive science, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.; Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director, Touch Research Institute at University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami; June 25, 2010, Science


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