Cold weather impacts our behavior


It isn’t just in your mind– cold weather can truly impact our behavior, and not just for those with seasonal effectiveness disorder! Below are several interesting patterns that occur when the weather is just a little bit frightful!

  • Intentions seem darker. A German study shows that when the weather is colder, people are less trusting and more likely to think that other’s intentions are darker and more sinister than when the temperature is warmer.
  • Creativity abounds when warmer. People given a warm drink or a warm room are more likely to participate in creative thinking than those given a cold room with cold drinks.
  • Cold weather impacts our desire to be psychologically comfortable. When the weather is colder, more romantic comedies are watched. People seek comfort psychologically and want to find ways to feel “cozy” and “safe.”
  • Red dress effect. Women wear red or pink more often in the winter in order to feel attractive and desired. In warmer temperatures, women do not tend toward those colors as often, seemingly because they find other ways to feel attractive.
  • Prisoner’s dilemma. A study at several jails showed that when in a cold room, prisoners who were told that if they testified against another prisoner they would be set free were much more likely to do so than those given hand warmers and blankets. The warmer prisoners would often decline and watch out for the other prisoner.

Photo credit Pavel P. via Flickr Creative Commons License

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