Have you ever stepped outside on a sunny day and feel happy? Have you ever stepped outside on a chilly and rainy morning feeling miserable? This tends to happen to a lot of people. The weather is constantly changing just like our moods. But, can weather actually affect our mood? Do different types of weather affect in our mood in a different way?
According to John Grohol, the weather has a greater influence on our negative mood rather than our positive mood. In general, higher temperatures raise a our mood and cooler temperatures with not much sun lowers our mood. Klimstra found that the influence weather has often depends on your personality type when it comes to certain weather. He studied 415 individuals and about half of these people were not affected by changes in the weather all that much. However, the other half of individuals were greatly impacted by the weather changes. Klimstra determined that 17 percent of the people were called “Summer lovers.” They felt happier and less irritated on days of sunshine and warm temperatures. 27 percent were called “Summer haters”. These people felt more fearful and angry on days with more sunshine and felt less angry on days with more precipitation. 9 percent were determined to be “Rain haters.” They felt less happy on days of a lot of precipitation and more fearful and happy on days with higher temperatures. The last of the group (48 percent) were called “Unaffected by weather.” They were uninfluenced by changes in the weather.
However, Connolly suggested that you do not have to be impacted by the weather if you do not want to be. In 2008, he conducted a study in which men responded to weather changes by changing their plans for the day. Instead of getting as emotional and worked up about the weather ruining their particular plans for that day, they simply changed their plans. For example, if it was raining, men would change their outdoor plans to simply staying inside and watching movies. On the other hand, women more often let weather changes influence their mood.
In 2008, Emotion conducted a study in which researches observed and evaluated the moods of over 1,2000 individuals through questionnaires. They discovered that “climate-related factors” such as temperature, sunlight, and precipitation did not seem to have an affect on negative mood. They found out that an increase in temperature had a generally positive effect on mood, but more precipitation and less sunlight had a negative impact on mood. However, these impacts varied from person to person. This study showed a link between different types of weather and our mood, but the evidence is not strong enough to say there is a direct casual link between weather changes and our mood. This study’s results were determined based off questionaries, not actual scientific experiments. There was nothing being manipulated.
German researchers conducted a study in 2008 to look at how and if different weather factors influenced mood. They took 1,233 volunteers. They determined that sunlight had an impact on how tired we felt, but there was no direct correlation between weather and mood because each individual had their own sensitivity to various weather conditions. A similar study conducted by Keller in 2005 discovered that some peoples’ moods were influenced positively during the springtime, but there were no consistent evidence that showed weather directly affected mood. The primary reason why these studies did not show obvious results is because each individual has their own personality, which have been divided into 4 types (listed above).
In conclusion, I do think there is a correlation between weather and our moods, but I do not think there is a direct casual relationship. In the studies conducted, the results were determined by questionaries and simply asking the individuals how certain weather affected their moods. Nothing was being manipulated in the observations. Due to this, there is not enough strong evidence to say there is a direct causation between weather and mood. I think scientists should experiment more in depth with this topic. Maybe they can do randomized control experiments where they put people out in certain weather conditions to see how they react. They could put one group of people out in sunny weather with warmer temperatures. They could put another group out in chillier weather with precipitation. Of course, we cannot control the weather so that aspect of the experiment would be difficult to carry out. Regardless, I do think weather has an impact on our moods, but I think it has more to do with our personalities and likes/dislikes than actual scientific proof.