Need to Think Hard? Hold a Big Clipboard

Holding heavy objects makes us bear down, study suggests
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2009 12:00 PM CDT
Heavy clipboards make things seem more important.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Holding heavier objects could affect your thoughts and how you deal with problems. A University of Amsterdam researcher broke subjects into two groups, giving half a 1.5-pound clipboard and the rest a 2.3-pound clipboard. He then asked them several questions and discovered that the mere 0.8-pound difference had a significant impact on responses, with those with the heavier clipboards seeing things as more important, writes Ed Yong on Science Blogs.

The heavy clipboard crew thought foreign currencies were worth more, and thought a social justice case was more pressing. Asked to make decisions about a local subway system, they were more decisive and confident in their answers. The effects were small, but statistically significant. The researcher theorizes that in childhood, we learn that heavy objects require more effort to deal with, and that impression sticks.