PEOPLE TEND TO PERFORM BETTER AT MEMORY TASKS ON DULL DAYS THAN THEY DO ON SUNNY DAYS
other areas of your life – one US study found that people gave more generous tips on sunny days, while a French study discovered women were more receptive to flirtatious advances when the sun was shining.
Again, Haslam cautions these are not simple cause-effect scenarios: “The sunny season is often the time people take vacations, so that could be a reason they’re more relaxed.” of violence and aggressive behaviour. “Extreme heat leads to increased aggression, instances of rape, domestic violence, riots and irritation,” according to Dr Susie Burke, a senior psychologist at the Australian Psychological Society.
This is a concerning revelation seeing as the world is expected to get even hotter in the coming decades due to global warming.
A significant analysis carried out at the University of California, Berkeley found that extreme heat as well as extreme rainfall increased the incidences of conflict – both interpersonal, as in person-on-person violence, and intergroup conflict, as in riots and wars.
Again, the experts have put forward different explanations for why this could be.
One theory suggests that aggression is brought on by the increased physical stress on the body and discomfort. Another is that because more people are out and about on warmer days, there are more opportunities for crimes to occur.
Burke adds people with mental-health issues are particularly at risk in the heat: “People with mental-health problems may be vulnerable as some psychiatric medications are less effective in extreme heat and some impair the body’s ability to sweat and the person can’t cool down.”
If the rain is too heavy, your irritability could increase, Burke adds. “Extreme rainfall can also lead to increased aggression because people may feel their sense of wellbeing is missing.” “Droughts and floods – both caused by extreme weather conditions – increase people’s physical and psychological stress. This is due to loss of income as well as breakdown of social structures,” says Berry.
Burke adds that while such events can result in mental strain, such events can also strengthen social bonds.
“Extreme weather disasters are often chaotic and focused on survival at impact, but after a few days, disaster experts note there’s a rebound or honeymoon phase, which is characterised by great solidarity, co-operation, goodwill and help,” says Burke.
“There can be a great sense of ‘we’re all in this together’. Strangers come together to help each other and community spirit strengthens.”
So whether the sun is shining bright or clouds are blocking its rays, your mood will be affected – for better or worse.