Hot-cold empathy gap

hot state and cold state
People, according to American economist George Loewenstein (1996), can exist in cold states and hot states and there is a so-called “empathy gap” between the two states; a phenomenon which has been quantified (2005) with respect to changes in sexual choices.
In terminology, hot-cold empathy gap refers to the inability, when in a cold state, to empathize with feelings when in a hot state, i.e. hot feelings. [1]

Hot and cold | Emotions
The term “hot-cold empathy gap” is attributed to American economist George Loewenstein's 1996 article “Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior”, wherein he employs the terms: gap, hot, cool, and empathy in a connective manner, though, to note, he does not actually seem to employ the specific phrase “hot-cold empathy gap” in this specific article. Loewenstein, firstly, themes his article with the following opening quote: [2]

“It is always thus, impelled by a state of mind which is destined not to last, that we make our irrevocable decisions.”
— Marcel Proust (c.1910)

Loewenstein then initiates his thermal word interjection via citation to the following 1759 quote by Adam Smith:

“At the very time of acting, at the moment in which passion mounts the highest, he hesitates and trembles at the thought of what he is about to do: he is secretly conscious to himself that he is breaking through those measures of conduct which, in all his cool hours, he had resolved never to infringe, which he had never seen infringed by others without the highest disapprobation, and the infringement of which, his own mind forebodes, must soon render him the object of the same disagreeable sentiment.”

He then jumps to the following:

“Decision theory, as it is currently practiced, makes no distinction between visceral factors and tastes and thus does not recognize the special impact of visceral factors on behavior. It is best equipped to deal with ‘cool’ or ‘dispassionate’ settings in which there is typically a very close connection between perceived self-interest and behavior. The decision-making paradigm has much greater difficulty in providing an account of decisions occurring at the ‘hot’ end of the continuum defined by the intensity of visceral factors. The drive mechanism of Freudian and behavioristic psychology provides a better account of behavior at the opposite end of the same continuum.”

Loewenstein, here, seems here to be referring to Freud-Schiller drive theory, though it is difficult to say in what sense he means by "drive mechanism".

Heat of the moment
In 2005, Loewenstein, together with American economics psychologist Dan Ariely, published a study entitled “The Heat of the Moment”, the focused on the subject of:

“The sex drive is a vitally important motivational force in human behavior, from the perspective of both the individual and the society. Sexual motivation plays a direct and indirect role in a considerable number of economic activities.”

The study was on decision making or choice behaviors of male students while in the “hot state”, arrived at by self-stimulation short of ejaculation, as compared to the “cold state”, i.e. not aroused, finding, e.g., that whereas only 7% were attracted to a 60-year old women when unroused, 23% were attracted after prior arousal, among other interesting behavioral pattern changes. [3]

1. Toates, Frederick. (2014). How Sexual Desire Works: the Enigmatic Urge (§:Heat of the moment, pgs. 218-; heat, 13+ pgs). Cambridge University Press.
2. (a) Loewenstein, George. (1996). “Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior” (abs) (pdf), Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 65:272-92.
(b) Schwartz, Barry and Sommers, Roseanna. (2013). “Affective Forecasting and Well-Being”, in: The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology (editor: Danile Reisberg) (pg. 711). Oxford University Press.
(b) George Loewenstein – Wikipedia.
3. (a) Ariely, Dan. and Loewenstein, George. (2005). “The Heat of the Moment: the Effect of Sexual Arousal on Sexual Decision Making” (pdf), Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 19:87-98.
(b) Dan Ariely – Wikipedia.
(c) Toates, Frederick. (2014). How Sexual Desire Works: the Enigmatic Urge (§:Heat of the moment, pgs. 218-; heat, 13+ pgs). Cambridge University Press.

External links
‚óŹ Empathy gap – Wikipedia.

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