Health YOU & YOUR
What we touch can
change how we think
ILLUS TRATION B Y R YAN SNOOK
B Y HOLL Y S T. LIFER
Holding a hot cup of coffee—or a freezing bowl of ice cream—can affect how you
interact with people, according to researchers at Yale and the University of Colorado.
Our sense of touch, they say, impacts our relationships. “We form impressions based
not just on what people say and wear, but on tactile messages,” says Josh Ackerman,
Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who also studies the phenomenon. So hold that warm cup and you’re more likely to view others as caring and
generous. Sit in a comfy chair (rather than a hard one) and you might be more open
to compromise. “Touch,” says Ackerman, “is as important as sight and hearing.” ;
Learn more about how our sense of touch affects our
perceptions of people—go to aarp.org/feelfactor.