New research explores how physical sensations can affect our thinking.

New research suggests that a touch can influence our thoughts and decisions. A series of studies done by Joshua Ackerman of MIT and his colleagues at Harvard and Yale concludes that tactile sensations of feeling an object with respect to how hard, soft or rough it is, have certain abstract meaning for people and can affect how they react in certain situations. For instance, roughness can lead to thoughts of difficulty and harshness, while heaviness can evoke an impression of importance and seriousness.

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