Warm Hands, Nonjudgmental Brain

"If it's a brand new judgment and one that's open to a lot of ambiguity, then these things can matter," Johnson said. But for more important decisions, or decisions where we are armed with information like when we're choosing a doctor, Johnson said your physical state and mood matter less.

Mind-Body Connection Is Strong

In more serious social situations, other research has confirmed a judgment-body temperature connection, but in reverse. It turns out harsh judgments can literally feel like a cold shoulder.

Researchers at the University of Toronto published a study last month that showed when people are socially excluded they report a colder guess of the room temperature, while people who have been socially accepted report a much higher room temperature.

According to the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, individuals' estimates ranged from 54 degrees to 104 degrees in the same room.

Subconscious Judgments Are Common

"Many of these things happen unconsciously," said Chen-Bo Zhong, a co-author of the September study and an assistant professor in the department of organizational behavior and human resource management at the University of Toronto.

"Even though sometimes you may experience cold or warm, you may not be able to know what really caused it," he said.

"That's the beauty of the Lawrence study, is that all these effects on judgment were unconscious," Zhong said, who was not involved with the study. "If you ask people to recall, they wouldn't be able to tell you explicitly why."

In the future, Williams would like to look at other sensory influences such as soft or hard objects.

"What are some other types of fundamental aspects of the physical world that can play a meaningful role in the psychological judgments people make?" said Williams.

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