Is the Weather Making Quad Citizens Cranky?
We were all happy to get some warm temperatures and sunshine after a chilly spring and a downright cold winter here in the Quad Cities. Now the heat has got us cranky. So does the weather actually affect our mood? The website Psych Central says research has found variable, but sometimes conflicting results. There are some general ways research has shown weather can affect our moods:
Weather has more of an impact on a person's negative mood, as opposed to someone's positive mood. Higher temperatures tend to make someone whose depressed feel better. Not enough sun or wind can make a depressed person's symptoms worse.
SAD, or Seasonal affective disorder , is a depressive disorder connected to seasonal patterns. Most sufferers experience this in the winter months when there's less sun, more clouds and a generally gloomy atmosphere.
Heat makes us more aggressive. The hotter it gets the more conflicts we experience and violence tends to rise. Rain, especially in areas that don't get a lot of rain, has been shown to make people more aggressive as well.
Surprisingly suicides peak during the spring and summer months.
Some people have a weather personality type. These types are:
- Summer lovers. People who love the sun and heat. Rain makes them less happy, more prone to anxiety and more angry.
- Summer haters. These people tend to be more happy when it rains. They're more angry and fearful when it's hotter and sunnier.
- Rain hatters. People who are less happy and angrier when it rains, compared to when it's warm and sunny.
Limited research show 52% of people had a weather personality type, while 48% of people were unaffected by weather.
It seems pretty clear to me weather can affect our mood. If it can have this big an impact on how people feel, then I have no problem blaming my grumpiness on clouds and rain. My irritation on the heat. And my good mood on a beautiful, perfect, sunny, spring afternoon.