The psychology behind a nice cup of tea

 

As the temperature drops, you might find yourself reaching for a hot cup of coffee or tea, or warm mulled wine or cider more often than usual. But this may not just be because of the obvious benefits of warming your hands around the cup and banishing the cold from your belly.

In fact, studies have shown there’s a psychological element to choosing hot drinks – they can actually make us feel cosier and friendlier. In an experiment, people were asked to rate strangers on how welcoming and trustworthy they thought they were. Holding a warm cup of coffee made them rate the strangers higher on these attributes, while holding a cold drink had the opposite effect.

Those holding hot drinks were also more likely to be generous, and less likely to display behaviour thought of as selfish. This is due to the strong linguistic and metaphorical links created in the brain by repeatedly using the words ‘warm’ or ‘cold’ to describe personalities.

The same applies with sweetness. People who have eaten something sugary are more likely to describe a person positively – as ‘sweet’. Time to put the kettle on, perhaps.

Dr Daniel Glaser is director of Science Gallery at King’s College London

Post Source: The Guardian