Study finds tempers rise with temperature

4:27 AM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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Oregon summer sunset

SACRAMENTO -  Researchers have found that when the weather gets hot, so does one's temper.

On hot days individuals are more likely to encounter road rage, or have someone cut them off.  Drivers may also be seen speeding more than usual.  So why the link between temperature and one's mood behind the wheel?

According to doctors, an increase in body temperature leads to an increase in physical arousal, and arousal is linked to aggressive behavior. The heart rate goes up and the blood pressure rises as the body tries to cool itself off.

There is also a link between hot temperatures and an increase in crime. Ellen Cohn, a criminologist at Florida International University looked at two years of crime stats in Minneapolis and found that more crimes were reported during summer than other months. 

However, it could be argued that there is simply more opportunity for criminals during the warmer months.  For example, summertime is when people generally leave their homes for vacation which generally coincides with an increase in burglaries.

A study published in 2012 found that even mild dehydration can alter a person's mood. After losing just 1.5 percent of the body's normal water volume, study participants were fatigued, experienced headaches and were more tense and anxious.


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