Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The ways we describe the world draw on tactile sensations and the emotions associated with them

I always stress the importance of a great and warm handshake. This study found "ubjects who received the résumé on a heavy clipboard ranked the candidate as more qualified than those who read the same résumé on a lighter clipboard. Nocera believes this is because we equate heavy with serious; a heavy object may broadcast competence the way professional attire or a firm handshake does "

Amplify’d from harvardmagazine.com

Metaphors of touch infiltrate our language. When something goes easily, we say it was smooth sailing; an uncouth person is coarse. We have a soft spot for someone we love; the opposite is being hard-hearted. In fact, it is difficult to escape these metaphors: try to think of a synonym for rough day, and hard day probably comes to mind first.

Thus, the ways we describe the world draw on tactile sensations and the emotions associated with them. But research by psychology doctoral student Christopher Nocera suggests that the connections go both ways: that the sensations themselves have a powerful effect on how we perceive situations—and on how we respond.

Read more at harvardmagazine.com
 

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