The effect of haptic and ambient temperature experience on prosocial behavior

Lynott, Dermot Joseph and Corker, Katherine S. and Connell, Louise Mary and O'Brien, Kerry S. (2017) The effect of haptic and ambient temperature experience on prosocial behavior. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 5 (1). pp. 10-18. ISSN 2169-3269

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Abstract

Temperature is an ever-present feature of the environment, but we are still unsure how changes in temperature experience affect human behavior. On the one hand, some studies have shown that higher temperature experience is linked with more prosocial behaviors (e.g., greater gift giving, altruism), while on the other hand, some studies have shown that higher temperatures are associated with less prosocial behavior (e.g., more violence, aggression). In this study we investigated whether higher temperatures are associated with more or less prosocial responding. At different ambient temperatures, participants took part in a “product evaluation” study of hot or cold therapeutic gel packs. At the end of the study, each participant could choose between taking a reward for themselves (the self-interested option) or giving the reward to someone else (the prosocial option). While the pack temperatures did not influence the choices people made, we found a weak relationship between the ambient temperatures at the time of the study and whether the participant responded prosocially or not; as temperatures increased, participants were more likely to choose the prosocial option. However, further analysis suggests that this finding should be considered inconclusive and we urge caution in interpreting these results.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Archives of Scientific Psychology
ID Code:
87392
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Aug 2017 13:06
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
15 Aug 2020 05:13