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Touching Heavy, Hard Objects Makes Us More Serious

June 25

Job seekers take note: Resumes printed on heavy paper stock are likely considered more seriously than those on lightweight sheets.

That’s the finding of a new study that reveals our sense of touch unconsciously influences our thoughts and moods.

“When people physically experience weight—when they feel heavy things—it makes them see the world in a more serious and important way,” said study leader Joshua Ackerman.

Ackerman and colleagues created six experiments where they gave people similar objects of different textures and weights, such as  heavy or light clipboards and rough or smooth jigsaw puzzle pieces. Handling the objects affected the subjects’ impressions and decisions, the study found.

For instance, when seated in a wooden chair instead of a cushioned chair, people were more rigid in negotiations over the price of a new car.

“Turns out, you sit in a hard chair, you become less willing to negotiate,” said Ackerman, an assistant professor of marketing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

via Touching Heavy, Hard Objects Makes Us More Serious.

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