After just handling a stranger’s coffee, people make subconscious judgments about personality, psychologists say. Asked to hold a lab assistant’s cup of hot or iced coffee, Yale students associated cold drinkers with selfish personalities, the Times reports. The experiment is part of a body of research that leads to the conclusion that the brain has a mind of its own.
Studies have also found that people unconsciously tend to be neater if they smell cleaning liquid or more competitive if they see a briefcase, proving the brain is more active and deliberate than previously known. Some are hesitant to overstate the importance of subliminal research. One psychologist says the new research “doesn’t prove that consciousness never does anything.”