Understanding Warm vs Cold Personality Types

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By Anna Marikar

Understanding human personality is a complex task. New research suggests that physical temperature, cultural, and climatic factors may influence our personality and social interactions. In this article, we will dig into the concepts of warm and cold personality types and explore how various factors, including physical temperature, can impact these personalities.

​You can also take a personality test to see if you have a warmer personality or if you are on the cold side, or somewhere in between. 

warm vs cold personality

Table of Contents

The Scientific Connection: Temperature and Personality

Studies have indicated that physical temperature can influence our perceptions of others and even our own personalities. A study conducted by Lawrence Williams of the University of Colorado and John Bargh of Yale University found a link between physical warmth and feelings of interpersonal warmth. 

Participants who briefly held a hot cup of coffee perceived others as having warmer personalities compared to those who held a cold cups of iced coffee (Williams & Bargh, 2008). This means that experiences of physical warmth actually impact the way you perceive those around you and your own likelihood of having warm feelings. 

The Characteristics of Warm Personalities

Warm personalities are often associated with traits such as empathy, kindness, and affection. People with warmer personalities tend to have closer relationships and better interpersonal skills, fostering feelings of trust and understanding in their social circles.

warm personality

Warm personalities exude a certain kind of warmth that seems to mimic the comfort of a hot pad on a chilly day. Their hearts seem tuned to degrees that resonate with kindness, making interactions with them feel like warm weather vacations from the cold-heartedness that one might encounter elsewhere. 

In the realms of romantic relationships and close friendships, this warmth plays a pivotal role. It lays a foundation that is ripe for the flourishing of healthy relationships, fostering an environment where each person feels seen and valued. Their warm hearts tend to be open books, sharing personal information and new experiences, which invites a deeper connection and understanding.

warm personaluity

Their communication style is open and expressive, allowing them to form deep, meaningful connections. Their words are chosen with care and consideration, creating conversations that are both engaging and comforting. It’s like having a heart-to-heart talk wrapped in the softest, warmest blanket – you can’t help but feel a sense of emotional warmth and comfort.

Breaking Down the Traits of Cold Personalities

On the contrary, cold personalities tend to be more reserved, less expressive, and distant in social interactions. These individuals might face challenges in forming close relationships due to these personality traits, but it does not necessarily mean they lack empathy or kindness.

cold personaluity

Cold personalities often carry an aura of reserve and distance. Interaction with a cold-hearted person might feel like holding a cold therapeutic pad, lacking the inviting warmth that encourages openness and closeness. 

This doesn’t mean that cold-hearted people are incapable of forming meaningful connections. They might maintain close bonds with family members and childhood friends, but their colder demeanor could make it challenging to foster new relationships. In social situations, they might show signs of avoidant attachment, keeping personal information close to the chest and showcasing fewer emotional displays.

They seem to navigate the social seas with a layer of frosty protection, keeping their true selves guarded from the warmth of close interpersonal connections. There’s a certain intrigue in their reserved nature, a puzzle that sparks curiosity, inviting others to unearth the hidden layers beneath their icy exterior.

cold personaluity

But there is often a misunderstood beauty in their reserved nature. Their interactions may be marked by caution and reserve, but this doesn’t mean they lack depth or the capacity for deep connections. The coolness they exhibit is a protective shield, a carefully constructed barrier against the vulnerabilities that lie beneath.

Cultural and Climatic Influences of Warm Vs Cold Personality

Our surrounding environment, including the climate we live in and our cultural norms, can play a significant role in shaping our personalities. In warmer climates where physical warmth is abundant, cultures may foster more warm, open, and communal social norms. Cold climates, conversely, might promote more reserved and individualistic social behaviors.

Different climates, ranging from mild temperatures to extremes, subtly craft the social judgments and interactions common within a culture. A new study might unveil that the ambient room temperature in which social interactions occur, such as a university’s psychology building, can momentarily influence one’s feelings and perceptions. Here, the professors of psychology emphasize that the brain regions, notably the insular cortex, play a significant role in these instantaneous judgments and the kind of personal information one might choose to disclose.

Culture paints our personalities with broad strokes of warmth or coldness, molding our social behaviors and interactions. In communities where warmth is woven into the cultural tapestry, individuals often blossom in the soft glow of mutual understanding and shared emotional expressions. These societies are like greenhouses, nurturing the growth and flourishing of warm interpersonal connections, where the air is rich with empathy and shared humanity.

Contrarily, in environments marked by cold, detached cultural norms, personalities often develop a certain robustness, learning to thrive in the chill of emotional restraint. The societal climate crafts individuals who are self-reliant, valuing personal space and independence, cultivating personalities that flourish in the solitude of their own emotional gardens.

Personality Quiz: Are You Warm or Cold?

warm vs cold personaluity

Question 1: When you meet someone new, how do you react?

  • A) I greet them with a smile and express genuine interest in getting to know them. (Score: 2)
  • B) I give a polite nod or hello, keeping the interaction brief and formal. (Score: 1)

Question 2: How comfortable are you with physical touch, like hugging a friend or family member?

  • A) I’m very comfortable and often initiate physical touch as a way to show affection. (Score: 2)
  • B) I’m not very comfortable and usually wait for the other person to initiate. (Score: 1)

Question 3: How open are you in sharing personal information or feelings?

  • A) I’m quite open and find it easy to share my thoughts and feelings with others. (Score: 2)
  • B) I’m quite reserved and prefer to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. (Score: 1)

Question 4: How do you react when someone shares their problems with you?

  • A) I listen empathetically, offer comfort, and try to help them find a solution. (Score: 2)
  • B) I listen, offer brief advice, and quickly move on to another topic. (Score: 1)

Question 5: What kind of social environments do you prefer?

  • A) I prefer warm, friendly environments where people interact openly and warmly. (Score: 2)
  • B) I prefer calm, quiet environments where people maintain a level of formality and distance. (Score: 1)


5-6 Points: You have a Warm Personality! You tend to be open, expressive, and comfortable in engaging with others emotionally. You value connections and tend to make others feel loved and supported.

3-4 Points: Your personality shows a Mix of Warm and Cold Traits. You can be open and engaging in certain situations but may also value your personal space and privacy.

1-2 Points: You have a Cold Personality! You are more reserved and private, preferring to maintain a level of distance in interpersonal interactions. This doesn’t mean you lack depth or emotional richness, but you express it in a more guarded manner.

warm or cold personality

Remember, this quiz is a simple and fun way to get insights into your personality. Personalities are complex and multifaceted, and this quiz may not capture all the unique aspects of your personality. Feel free to explore more comprehensive personality tests for a deeper understanding!

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More Quizzes

Try a few more of our fun quizzes below, to understand your own personality on a deeper Level.

Practical Implications: Using This Knowledge

Understanding the impact of temperature and environment on personality can be beneficial in various life domains, such as relationships, work, and mental health. Recognizing these influences can help in fostering more empathetic and understanding relationships and social environments.

Understanding these temperature-personality dynamics opens a gateway to enhancing emotional stability and overall mental health. Knowledge of the impact of warmth and cold in social judgments allows for the nurturing of social warmth and good relationships. This understanding encourages the exploration of one’s true self beyond the surface, considering the influence of external temperatures and innate caregiving styles on our social interactions and personality expressions.

Harnessing the understanding of warm and cold personality types offers a powerful tool to navigate the labyrinth of human interactions and relationships. It becomes a compass, guiding our interactions, helping us to approach each personality type with sensitivity and a nuanced appreciation of their unique qualities. This rich tapestry of understanding facilitates the creation of environments where both warm and cold personalities can coexist, interact, and thrive, enriching the social landscape with the diverse beauty of human connection.

By embracing the diversity of warm and cold personalities, we unveil a spectrum of human experiences and emotions, each adding its unique color to the mosaic of human relationships and social interactions. This nuanced understanding allows us to appreciate the beautiful complexity of human nature, fostering environments where every personality can shine in its own unique brilliance.

The concept of warm and cold personality types, influenced by physical temperature and environmental factors, offers a nuanced perspective on understanding human personalities and social interactions. By acknowledging these influences, we can navigate our social worlds with a more empathetic and comprehensive approach.

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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.

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