Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

The LA Times reports on a new psychological study in Science that proves something we all probably take for granted – that warmth is more than skin deep:

To their surprise, they found that people who held a cup of hot coffee for 10 to 25 seconds warmed to a perfect stranger. Holding a cup of iced coffee had the opposite effect.

If you want to make a good impression, advised study author Lawrence E. Williams, a University of Colorado at Boulder assistant professor of marketing, a fresh cup of coffee “may bias the situation in your favor.”

The study, to be published today in the journal Science, is the latest to show how physical properties such as distance or temperature can unconsciously influence emotional reactions.