Thursday, September 16, 2010

Touchy Decisions

It’s well known that sensuality is a powerful force behind human decision-making (it’s a core principle of the Lovemarks approach), but even I was surprised by a recent article in the journal Science. According to the study, our sense of touch is affecting us in ways that we would have never guessed.

Among other things, the study found that certain sensations have a dramatic effect on our social judgments. For instance, “heavy objects made job candidates appear more important, rough objects made social interactions appear more difficult, and hard objects increased rigidity in negotiations.”

This is only the most recent in a string of findings regarding how sensuality affects our judgments. Wired recently reported that “studies have shown that kids are better at math when using their hands while thinking. Actors recall lines more easily while moving. People tend towards generosity after holding a warm cup of coffee, and are more callous after holding a cold drink.”

These kinds of discoveries validate some of the basic thinking behind Lovemarks, while also revealing how little we all really understand about the inner workings of the human mind. It’s an exhilarating field of inquiry, and one I’ll be watching closely over the coming years.