Socially Thermoregulated Thinking: How Past Experiences Matter in Thinking About Our Loved Ones

16 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2016

See all articles by Hans IJzerman

Hans IJzerman

Université Grenoble Alpes

Michel Schrama

Parnassia Groep

Tila Pronk

Tilburg University

Date Written: July 11, 2016


Body temperature regulation is of crucial importance for nonhuman and human animals. Because other animals are crucial in helping to regulate body temperature, temperature differences likely determines how humans think about their social environment. Since 2008, the psychological literature on social thermoregulation has flourished with approximately 80 reports, ranging from economic decision-making to self-regulation. However, questions have arisen to its robustness and about underlying mechanisms, particularly in relation to differences in past relationship experiences. In this report, the authors used an inductive approach, exploring individual differences to identify items that alter the temperature-social thought relationship in Study 1, and confirming the effects in Study 2 (total N = 366): Coldness (vs. warmth) makes people think about closer others when past relationship experiences were positive, while the reverse is true for negative past relationship experiences. The authors find robust results and provide future directions for the field of social thermoregulation.

Keywords: social thermoregulation, attachment, warmth, embodiment

Suggested Citation

IJzerman, Hans and Schrama, Michel and Pronk, Tila, Socially Thermoregulated Thinking: How Past Experiences Matter in Thinking About Our Loved Ones (July 11, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Hans IJzerman (Contact Author)

Université Grenoble Alpes ( email )


Michel Schrama

Parnassia Groep ( email )

Tila Pronk

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE

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