Replication of “Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth” byWilliams and Bargh (2008)

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We report the results of three high-powered, independent replications of Study 2 from Williams and Bargh (2008). Participants evaluated hot or cold instant therapeutic packs before choosing a reward for participation that was framed as a prosocial (i.e., treat for a friend) or self-interested reward (i.e., treat for the self). Williams and Bargh predicted that evaluating the hot pack would lead to a higher probability of making a prosocial choice compared to evaluating the cold pack. We did not replicate the effect in any individual laboratory or when considering the results of the three replications together (total N = 861). We conclude that there is no evidence that brief exposure to warm therapeutic packs induces greater prosocial responding than exposure to cold therapeutic packs.

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