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Homelike Thermoregulation: How Physical Coldness Makes an Advertised House a Home

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Description: House brokers typically intuit that any type of warmth cause people to buy houses more frequently. Is this empirical reality? The authors investigated this through people’s attachment towards advertised houses. A wealth of research has now linked thermoregulation to relationships (cf. IJzerman et al., 2015), and here the authors purport that this extends to people’s relationships with house as a more novel solution to an ancient problem: Shielding from the cold. The present package tests a preregistered idea that colder temperatures increase people’s need to affiliate and, in turn, increase people’s estimations of how homely a house is (measured through communality). The hypotheses of the first two studies were partly right: The authors only found that actual lower temperatures (not motivation and through a cup and outside temperature) induced people to find a house more communal, predicted by their need to affiliate. Importantly, this even predicts whether people find the house more attractive, and increases their willingness to pay for the house (Studies 1 and Study 2). The third study did not pan out as predicted, but still affected people’s need to affiliate. The authors reason that this was caused by a methodological shortcoming (namely not directly being affected by temperature). The present work provides novel insights into how a house becomes a home. This paper was published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology: Van Acker, B. B., Kerselaers, K., Pantophlet, J., & IJzerman, H. (2016). Homelike thermoregulation: How physical coldness makes an advertised house a home. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 67, 20-27.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal

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