Embodied effects are moderated by situational cues: Warmth, threat, and the desire for affiliation

Adam J. Fay*, Jon K. Maner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Recent research demonstrates fundamental links between low-level bodily states and higher order psychological processes. How those links interact with the surrounding social context, however, is not well-understood. Findings from two experiments indicate that the psychological link between physical warmth and social affiliation depends on the situation in which the warmth is experienced. Participants who had been primed with physical threat (as compared with control conditions) responded to warmth with stronger increases in affiliative motivation. This effect replicated across different threat and warmth primes. These findings support a view in which physical sensations interact dynamically with aspects of the immediate situation to influence the activation and application of higher order social processes. This view implies that many embodied psychological processes could function to help people respond adaptively to situational threats and opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-305
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Embodied cognition
  • Physical warmth
  • Social affiliation
  • Social cognition
  • Threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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