People as Penguins: Thermoregulation as Part of the Human Essence
Forthcoming in M. van Zomeren & J. Dovidio (Eds.). The Handbook of Human Essence. Oxford University Press
23 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016
Date Written: September 28, 2016
In this chapter we provide an overview of the domain of social thermoregulation. Our overview suggests that humans have always relied on, and still rely on, thermoregulation to navigate their social environment. In outlining social thermoregulation as a crucial feature of the human essence, we focus on the continuity of thermoregulatory mechanisms from other animals to humans. We then provide a number of different effects from the social psychological literature that helps us understand how thermoregulation is implicated in social behavior. From there on, we seek to understand our brain as a “hierarchically organized prediction machine” that helps us keep temperature at optimal levels. By then, it should be clear how thermoregulation is part of our human essence, how it changes our thoughts about others, and alters our motivations to be with others. We end by pointing to the implications of understanding thermoregulation as human essence.
Keywords: social thermoregulation, attachment theory, grounded cognition, embodiment, interpersonal relationships
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