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20 June 2017

Warm Weather Creates Cold Personalities, Study Finds

Do you find yourself feeling heightened levels of irritability and annoyance during the summer months, wanting nothing more than to be left alone as you plod through your work in the scorching heat? Well, it turns out this somewhat frosty demeanor taken on by many throughout summer may not be their fault as such, as a new study has linked rises in temperature with a decrease in sociability and an increase in general hostility.

Not only does the heat make us distinctly less-willing to help our fellow man, the effect continues to become ever more exaggerated as temperatures climb. In fact during one of the various experiments conducted as part of the research, a 5°F rise in temperature led to a 50% drop in participants’ willingness to help.

As previously mentioned the study involved various separate experiments each carried out along the same lines, with only specifics variables being changed. During one of said experiments, participants were told that they were helping by taking part in a survey for a non-profit organisation working with children and the underprivileged. Half were located in a room with the temperature set to 26.7°F, while the rest were subjected to a cooler temperature of 20.6°F.

The results of this experiment are truly telling, as those in the warmer room answered significantly fewer questions than those kept at the cooler temperature, despite being told they were helping a very worthy cause. Only 63.9% of those in the warmer room were willing to answer at least one question, compared to 94.6% of those in the cooler room.

The exact reason for this remains unknown, but researchers speculate it may be down to the conservation of energy in more testing environments. They assert that evolution may have encouraged these selfish traits, allowing us to better focus our energy on our own survival, even at the expense of others. It may also simply be that our minds are distracted by the high-temperature onslaught and are less able to take in the concerns and needs of others, leading us to get somewhat snappy with our friends and acquaintances.

It’s a cold world when temperatures climb, it would seem.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.