Magazine article Psychology Today

Under the Weather

Magazine article Psychology Today

Under the Weather

Article excerpt

MORE SUNSHINE = MORE HAPPINESS7 NOT QUITE

WAKING UP TO a rainy day may reliably dampen your mood, but the relationship between weather and behavior is complex. In fact, judgments of life satisfaction are unrelated to weather conditions, a large study in theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology found. Sun, rain, cold, and heat do affect our minds and our moods, but not in the ways you might think. -Laura Ends

Everyone loves the sun, right? Wrong. Nearly half of participants in a recent Emotion study seemed unaffected by variations between rain and sun, and 12 percent of Dutch mothers reported worse moods on warm and sunny days. People may be hesitant to admit their ambivalence about summer, notes Theo Klimstra, one of the study's authors, so the "summer blues'' may be more prevalent than we imagine.

Sunlight doesn't reliably boost happiness, but it can help minimize feelings of irritation and frustration, explains Kyle Murray, a professor at the Alberta School of Business in Canada. People are looser with their money when in a room with a UV lamp, one study found, and women are more receptive to romantic advances when it's sunny. …

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