10 Lab-Tested Ways to Bring Out the Best in People
The best of human nature—generosity, compassion, cooperation, selflessness—surfaced in these studies. Of course, the goal is to draw out a person's good side, not exploit it. Use your powers wisely.
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Discovery #2: Warm the Cockles of Their Insulas
If you want people to act more warmly, offer them a hot cup of coffee and make them hold it for a minute or two. Subconsciously, temperature affects our perceptions—and actions—find studies by Yale University psychologist
John Bargh, PhD, and his colleagues.
In one, volunteers who held a warm-pack
before playing a game trusted in and invested more money with an anonymous partner than did those whose hands were chilled. It's a quirk of the insula, a prune-sized part of the brain that forms cross-associations between physical and psychological warmth. When you heat people up—even their hands, briefly—they perceive you and everyone else as warmer, and they respond in kind.