Is It Harder to Think in Warm Temperatures?

Warm temperatures have been found to make it more difficult to think and make complex decisions. Researchers found that people in warmer temperatures tend to choose the simplest available options rather than weighing different options. This is thought to occur because the brain uses additional glucose to regulate the body’s temperature, especially to cool the body. This might leave less glucose for the brain to use as energy for performing mental tasks. Temperature tends to affect decision making mainly when a person is experiencing a temperature to which he or she is not adapted, such as when on vacation in a different climate. Those who regularly live in warm climates do not have their thinking affected.

More about what affects decisions:

  • Making more decisions throughout the day can lead to decision fatigue, making it more difficult to think clearly later in the day.

  • A study in the Netherlands found that people who have full bladders are able to make better decisions, which has been attributed to the brain signaling the need for self-control.

  • Research has shown that people who are angry can more easily differentiate between strong and weak arguments and thus make better decisions.

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