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Food Prep

Research shows that a hot drink can make you seem friendlier

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Warm hand, warm heart? (Istock)

Don’t you love how wrapping your hands around a steamy drink feels so good –and even makes you a bit happier? 

You could be spreading that love, according to new research that shows that people who drink warm beverages are perceived as having a warmer personality and are more competent, the Guardian reports.

According to a study conducted at the University of Boulder published in the journal Science, participants who held a cup of hot coffee were more likely to "[judge] a target person as having 'warmer' personality (generous, caring)," than those who held iced coffees.

In this study, the subjects were asked to hold a hot coffee or an iced coffee belonging to someone before being introduced to them – they had no idea that holding the drink was even part of the test.

The study showed that a person’s perceived warmth of character, along with their competence, says the study, “accounts for a large proportion (82%) of the variance in people’s evaluations of social behaviors.”

Researchers theorize that this could be the case because the part of the brain where we humans process warmth is also the area where judgments about others are formed. The study even suggests that the effect is to do with recognition of parental warmth during childhood—meaning from the womb and after.

And it's not just the temperature of your drink. Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, assistant professor at the Marketing and Consumer Behavior department at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, performed a study that found that people felt fuller when eating out of a heavier bowl versus a lighter one, and it's possible that the same feelings of satisfaction could apply to what we drink, as well as what we eat.

A little warmth goes a long way.