Embodied information affects judgements about politicians: The impact of haptic weight sensations and hand cleansing

Kai Kaspar, Andreas Klane
Published Online:
22 Jul 2016
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 52 Issue S1

Additional Options

Politicians' characteristics attract voters' attention and dominate impression formation. Thereby, social judgements are deduced from different information being available in a certain situation. The literature suggests that incidental bodily sensations can influence judgement processes. Here, two bodily treatments—the haptic sensation of weight and the act of hand cleansing—simultaneously contribute to judgements about politicians. This study expands previous works by (a) investigating potential interactions of two haptic information cues, (b) providing evidence for the significant role of conceptual closeness between embodied cues and judgement dimensions, (c) showing that hand cleansing leads to harsher moral judgements independently of whether a misconduct has been committed or not, and (d) showing that the familiarity of the target to be judged does not moderate the effect of embodied information. The results demonstrate that judgements can be modulated by basal sensorimotor experiences. We discuss implications and the important issue of result generalisation and replicability.

© 2016 International Union of Psychological Science