The cold weather is making you bitchy, says science

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Thursday 09 October 2014 19:50
Just look at Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Gerard Gallant. Surrounded by ice. Angry

Been feeling extra grumpy in recent days? There could be a reason. A new study has shown that chillier temperatures may make people more "cold-hearted".

As autumn sets in across the Northern Hemisphere a team of researchers from Nagoya University, Japan, have published a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, explaining that: "Coldness biases people toward being cold-hearted, reduces empathetic concern, and facilitates utilitarian moral judgements."

The results imply that temperature perception underlie social relationships and morality.

  • Hiroko Nakamura, lead researcher

As science news website PsyPost notes, 88 Japanese undergraduates were given scarves filled with either frozen water or room temperature water and then asked a series of question.

Students wearing cold scarves were more likely to "endorse utilitarian judgements".

“Intimate social relationships such as communal sharing relationships are scaffolded onto physical experiences like touching others and sensing others’ temperature, and thus temperature perception may cue communal sharing relationships and unity moral motives," explains the study.

The psychologists also acknowledge that the study only offers preliminary evidence and further research is needed. Still, at least it will give you some semblance of an excuse the next time you're feeling extra bitchy.

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