No Evidence That Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth: Two Failures to Replicate

Christopher F. Chabris, Patrick R. Heck, Jaclyn Mandart, Daniel J. Benjamin, Daniel J. Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Williams and Bargh (2008) reported that holding a hot cup of coffee caused participants to judge a person's personality as warmer and that holding a therapeutic heat pad caused participants to choose rewards for other people rather than for themselves. These experiments featured large effects (r =.28 and.31), small sample sizes (41 and 53 participants), and barely statistically significant results. We attempted to replicate both experiments in field settings with more than triple the sample sizes (128 and 177) and double-blind procedures, but found near-zero effects (r = -.03 and.02). In both cases, Bayesian analyses suggest there is substantially more evidence for the null hypothesis of no effect than for the original physical warmth priming hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Psychology
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • embodied cognition
  • priming
  • prosociality
  • replication
  • thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)

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