The current temperature tantrums are unpleasant all over the world and these wicked and disruptive weather behaviors and global outbursts have been registered from NYC, USA to Shanghai, PRC.
No winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn, before Summer and Fall, but the sudden changes in global weather patterns makes everyone feel like we're being pushed to our limits this year.However, we are on the cusp of Spring, with warmer and sunnier days ahead. For the most part, I can tell what kind of day it’s going to be within the first five minutes of waking up before the sun rises because temperature affects our mood.
And I'm once again reminded of the potential tolls temps take on our bodies. Yet the change in season also wields a kind of psychological influence on our emotions and behavior. Here are three ways that sunshine exerts a curious influence on how we function:
Folks are actually more helpful when the sun is shining, people are more willing to lend a helping hand. Take a study out of France that looked at the effects of sunshine on drivers' willingness to give hitchhikers a lift. Four undercover researchers posed as hitchhikers in France, on both sunny and cloudy days. The researchers analyzed a whopping 2,864 of instances of these “hitchhikers” trying to get a ride. What did they find? Drivers picked up hitchhikers more on sunny days than on cloudy days. The investigators suggest that as sunshine makes our moods more positive, it also encourages us to be more helpful.
Folks are more open to romantic possibilities. There may be some science behind the phenomenon of Spring flings after all. Consider another French study where an attractive male researcher approached unwitting women walking alone and asked them for their phone numbers, on days that were either sunny or cloudy. The results revealed that the women gave the man their number more often on sunny days. For this we can perhaps thank the positive mood that is brought on by the sun.
Folks spend more money. When the sun is out, people want to shop. This was the finding of a three-part study. In the first study, the investigators analyzed sales figures from a retail store that sold tea and tea-related products. They had data across six years of daily sales and daily weather conditions. In the second study, the researchers had participants complete a daily survey, which assessed their mood, how much tea and coffee they bought and consumed, and their total expenses for the day. Participants recorded this information for 20 days in March. The third study manipulated participants’ exposure to artificial sunlight, assessed their mood, and questioned their willingness to pay for five products: green tea, juice, a gym membership, an airline ticket, and a newspaper subscription.
Across this series of studies, the researchers found that sunlight is associated with higher levels of spending. Again, the investigators suggest that the sun makes us feel more positive and in turn, according to these findings, shop more.