Monday, July 20, 2009
Free will and a cup of coffee
Recently, Lawrence Williams and John A. Bargh showed that holding a warm cup of coffee makes you have more positive attitudes towards a stranger than when you hold a cup of ice coffee. In another experiment it came out that people who held a cold pad in their hands were more selfish than people holding a warm pad. If these results can be substantiated in other experiments, then the conclusion must be that our physical environment has an important influence upon what we want and wish. But if the temperature of a cup of coffee can influence what we do, what does remain then of the free will? Maybe it is that we must first decide whether we want to have our coffee hot or cold before we take a decision, but not while drinking another cup of coffee.