Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weighty Issue

Maybe some of those stimulus funs should go to buy big soft chairs and heavy clipboards for everyone.

From Discover...
When you pick up an object, you might think that you are manipulating it, but in a sense, it is also manipulating you. Through a series of six experiments, Joshua Ackerman from MIT has shown that the properties that we feel through touch – texture, hardness, weight – can all influence the way we think.

Weight is linked to importance, so that people carrying heavy objects deem interview candidates as more serious and social problems as more pressing. Texture is linked to difficulty and harshness. Touching rough sandpaper makes social interactions seem more adversarial, while smooth wood makes them seem friendlier. Finally, hardness is associated with rigidity and stability. When sitting on a hard chair, negotiators take tougher stances but if they sit on a soft one instead, they become more flexible.

First off, holding a light or heavy clipboard can affect a person’s decision-making. In a study of 54 volunteers, those who clutched the heavier board rated a job candidate more highly based on their resume, and thought that they displayed a more serious interest in the job. In a second test, those who held the heavier boards were more likely to call for government funds to be spent on serious social matters like setting air pollution standards, over more trivial affairs like public toilet regulations.

No comments:


Related Posts