Being Hot Or Being Cold: the Influence of Temperature on Judgment and Choice

Temperature-related words such as “hot” and “cold” are often used to describe impulsive and calculated behaviors, respectively. These metaphoric connotations of thermal concepts raise the question as to whether temperature, psychological states and decision making are related to each other, and if so, how. The current paper examines these questions and finds support for a relationship. Across five studies, we demonstrate that the actual experiences of physical temperature trigger decision outcomes in line with the metaphoric association between temperature and impulsivity. Moreover, these temperature effects persist when the concept of temperature is primed by temperature-related words and pictures. We suggest that the theories of embodied cognition provide an explanation for these findings.


Hee-Kyung Ahn, Nina Mazar, and Dilip Soman (2010) ,"Being Hot Or Being Cold: the Influence of Temperature on Judgment and Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 85-88 .


Hee-Kyung Ahn, University of Toronto, Canada
Nina Mazar, University of Toronto, Canada
Dilip Soman, University of Toronto, Canada


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

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