Q: On a job interview, should you prefer the
interviewer be holding a cold bottle of cola or a hot cup of
A: The principle of "sensory interaction" may come
into play here, as when the smell of food influences its
taste, says David G. Myers in "Exploring Psychology: Ninth
Edition." Our brains can even blend our tactile and social
judgments: "After holding a warm drink rather than a cold
one, people are more likely to rate someone more warmly,
feel closer to them, and behave more generously. Physical
warmth promotes social warmth"--and just maybe your own job
opportunities. In other experiments, people given the cold
shoulder wound up judging the room as colder than did those
treated warmly. "Social exclusion literally feels cold."
Even just holding a heavy rather than a light clipboard can
make job candidates seem more important. Make it a rough
object and the social interactions can seem more difficult.
Within our ordinary sensory and perceptual experiences
lies much that is truly extraordinary, Myers says. Or as
Shakespeare's Hamlet put it, "There are more things in
Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your
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