Loneliness Makes You Cold
A recent study presented on BBC Health News shows that those who are excluded or left out feel colder than those who are included.
Loneliness ‘makes you cold’
Turning up the thermometer could lighten your mood
Loneliness and coldness are often associated in everyday language, but psychologists have found that social isolation does make people feel cold.
The University of Toronto team found people feeling excluded said a room was colder than those feeling included.
And people who felt left out also chose comforting hot soup, rather than an apple or soft drink.
A UK psychologist said the findings could help people feeling isolated, particularly in the winter months.
In the first study, 65 students were divided into two groups.
One group recalled a personal experience in which they had been socially excluded and felt isolated or lonely, such as being rejected from a club.
The other group recalled an experience in which they had been accepted.
The researchers then asked everyone to estimate the room’s temperature.
The estimates varied from about 54F (12C) to 104F (40C) – with those who had thought about an isolating experience giving lower estimates of the temperature.
In the second experiment, the researchers asked 52 students to play a computer-simulated ball game.
It was designed so that some of the volunteers had the ball tossed to them many times, but others were left out.
Afterwards, all the volunteers were asked to rate the desirability of hot coffee, crackers, soft-drinks, an apple, or hot soup.
The “unpopular” participants were much more likely than the others to want either hot soup or hot coffee.
The researchers suggest their preference for warm food and drinks resulted from physically feeling cold as a result of being excluded.
Dr Chen-Bo Zhong, who led the research, which is published in the journal Psychological Science, said: “We found that the experience of social exclusion literally feels cold.