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Undoubtedly, there is a link between weather conditions and mental health. How are these two related? Read the answer below.
The weather and aggression levels
Numerous studies have discovered a connection between elevated body temperature and an increase in violent behavior. In the United States, criminality of all kinds, and notably violent crime, rises on hot days (murder, assault, robbery, and rape). According to the research, violent crime is more prevalent in the southern states that receive more warmth. By the way, if you want to learn more about it, you can find an essay on weather written by academic experts. Anyway, similar trends have been observed in France, Spain, and Italy, three nations with a hot climate.
A research of the frequency of aggravated attacks in Dallas, a southern city with many hot days to collect data, revealed that the number of assaults increases up to around 30 C, but when the temperature climbs above that, the quantity of violence decreases once again. It seems like once the temperature reaches a certain point, it is just too hot to accomplish anything. Scientists also see various patterns during the day and night.
For example, during the relatively cooler hours of the night, a simple straight line relationship exists between the number of violent occurrences and the temperature. How can these connections be explained? The most well-known explanation is Baron and Bell’s negative affect escape (NAE) model, which claims that while distress brought on by moderately high and low temperatures encourages aggression, extremely high or low temperatures bring on competing desires, such as a need to flee, which conflict with aggressive behavior and cause it to decrease.
The weather and student’s cognition
On warm, bright days, it’s hard for students to focus because they simply want to be outdoors soaking up the rays. On the other hand, because snow is so uncommon and stunning, they find it challenging to concentrate when it is falling. Rainy days also hold a fascination of their own, many people find themselves regularly sidetracked by checking the day’s total rate of rainfall. But does the general student’s cognition suffer from the effects of the weather?
In general, bad weather makes us feel down, which makes it easier for us to concentrate and think more clearly. According to certain research, memory is more effective on gloomy, rainy days than on sunny ones. One popular study examined Australian consumers’ recall of the names and locations of several small objects scattered throughout a small store. The study’s “ambush” design involved stopping randomly chosen participants as they were leaving the store at various times and in different types of weather.
Researchers discovered that on rainy nights as opposed to sunny days, consumers could recall, on average, three times as many things. The idea behind this mechanism is that bright days could improve mood. Therefore, there are a number of reasons why a great mood could result in poor memory. For example, people may be less motivated to recall, choosing instead to hurry up and start having fun or fearing that making a big effort to remember anything will ruin their positive feeling. According to a popular theory, being in a bad mood makes us focus on bottom-up processing while being in positive spirits helps us focus on top-down processing.
The weather and creativity
The evidence suggests that sunshine and creativity go hand in hand. Studies conducted in the US have revealed a correlation between the value of patents and the region’s yearly sunlight average. Both of these measurements of creativity and weather are somewhat crude, but they are intriguing. Furthermore, it may not come as a surprise that artistically successful people like to relocate to warmer climes because doing so leads to an increase in their creativity.
On the other hand, people who move to locations with less sunshine see their productivity drop. The French post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, who relocated to French Polynesia for the most of the last ten years of his life, is one specific example that comes to mind (although we should generally be cautious of specific instances). Gauguin was known for his tremendous creative output.
Sunlight is not universally seen as being beneficial to creativity. As we have already said, sunlight is detrimental to focused cognition, and some academics are sure that sunlight is detrimental to creativity as well. Adam Alter, an economist and anthropologist, believes that exposure to sunlight impairs our ability to think critically, take risks, and be creative. Many of us become sun-seeking zombies when it’s sunny, if not all of us. Alter observes that when the weather is nice and sunny, we tend to think of relaxing on the beach or laying on the grass rather than getting to work on the hard labor that forms the foundation of creativity.
Carla Davis is a mental health expert and writer. Carla researches different topics related to psychological well-being, including how it’s affected by the weather. She also works as a counselor, mainly with students who struggle with study stress.