Hugh: Scientists Find “Feel-Good Window” of Temperatures Where People are Nicer to Each Other
Written by Hugh Campbell on September 23, 2022
Climate change scientists have been doing research that links rising tensions between people to the weather and have found some interesting patterns. Now, of course it’s tough to measure how agreeable people are, so researchers took a look at aggressive or even hateful interactions online in certain climate zones, accounting for socioeconomic differences like income, religious beliefs, and political preferences in the process. They found that as temperatures rose, so did tempers. Specifically, at around 30 degrees Celsius, aggressive incidents on social media rose by more than a fifth. Hot under the collar, indeed. People also tend to get testy when the temperatures get too cold, with the study’s author saying, “people tend to show a more aggressive online behavior when it’s either too cold or too hot outside.” Like Goldilocks, we’ve now reached a happy medium, with scientists finding a “feel-good window” of temperatures where people are the nicest to each other between 12-21°C. To narrow it down even further, the fewest aggressive incidents occurred when the temperature was between 15 and 18°C.
Sure, I can believe that people get cranky when it’s too hot or too cold, that makes sense to me. But is there a difference in behaviour when temperatures are high versus low? It turns out there is. The study found that online hate jumps roughly 12% when things are too cold, compared to 22% when it’s too hot outside.