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The following study investigated embodied cognition and its effect on social loneliness compensation with physical warmth. Bargh and Shalev (2012) were able to support the notion of embodied cognition—our thoughts depend on our bodies and vice versa—suggesting that a socially lonely person will compensate for their loneliness with physical warmth, specifically warmer, more frequent and longer showers or baths. This also suggests an unconscious self-mechanism for the body and mind to self-regulate. This study also investigates embodied cognition in regard to social loneliness compensation with physical warmth, and also a further proposal that a person with higher sensitivity to their bodily sensations will show a great effect of compensation. Participants were drawn from an international sample, and instructed to complete a questionnaire designed to measure their physical warmth seeking, social loneliness and sensitivity to bodily sensations. Our results failed to suggest that lonely people seek physical warmth or that sensitivity to bodily sensations influences the relation between physical and social warmth. A redesign of the original study is currently being implemented.

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Independent Research

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Greg Elvers

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Stander Symposium poster


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