'Social Siberia' Isn't Just a Metaphor

Icy behavior cools body temperatures: study
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Sep 16, 2008 2:22 PM CDT
People feeling social rejection crave hot foods, a study has found.   (Magnum Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Icy stares and chilly receptions can leave you feeling—well, cold. Metaphors about social behavior, like "warm welcome" and "cold shoulder," seem to relate to physical reality, new research finds. People who had experienced and recalled social rejection perceived a 5-degree temperature drop in the lab and experienced hot food cravings, the New York Times reports.

"We know that being excluded is psychologically painful, and here we found that it feels just like it's described," says the study's lead author. Another psychologist said the results make "perfect sense," because the same brain region tracks temperature and mental states.