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On the Association between Loneliness and Physical Warmth-Seeking through Bathing: Reply to Donellan et al. (2014) and Three Further Replications of Bargh & Shalev (2012) Study 1.

27 Pages Posted: 12 May 2014 Last revised: 19 May 2014

John A. Bargh

Yale University

Idit Shalev

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Date Written: May 9, 2014

Abstract

As Tversky and Kahneman (1971) noted, effect sizes in smaller samples are inherently unstable. Donellan et al. (2014) in a large sample show that the relation between trait loneliness and warmth extraction through bathing activities is much smaller than in our initial smaller samples. We report further replications of our original findings in samples from India, Israel, and North America, again showing significant correlations between loneliness and physical warmth extraction from bathing and showering; the overall effect being reliable across all three samples, although, consistent with Donellan et al.'s conclusions, smaller than in our original studies. We also respond to criticisms of the original data analyses, noting that removal of the problematic 'bathing frequency' item from the warmth index did not substantially change the results and thus our conclusions from them. We also note that in their 2 studies in which Donellan et al. attempted to most closely follow our original procedure, they did replicate our original results, but not in the other 7 studies in which considerable procedural changes were made. As our new replications reveal variability in bathing and showering preferences and habits around the world, we recommend the inclusion of a wider sample of cultures beyond North American in future research. This research should also focus not only on the narrower question of how loneliness relates to bathing activities but on the broader relation between feelings of social coldness (e.g., after rejection or exclusion) and the seeking of physical warmth (e.g., warm food and drink, thermostat settings).

Keywords: loneliness; embodiment; physical warmth; cultural differences

Suggested Citation

Bargh, John A. and Shalev, Idit, On the Association between Loneliness and Physical Warmth-Seeking through Bathing: Reply to Donellan et al. (2014) and Three Further Replications of Bargh & Shalev (2012) Study 1. (May 9, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2435199 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2435199

John A. Bargh

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Idit Shalev (Contact Author)

Ben Gurion University of the Negev ( email )

PO Box 653
Beer Sheva, 84105
Israel
97286461874 (Phone)

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