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Feeling sadder around certain seasons could a have scientific basis, according to researchers.

Cold weather generally prompts people to stay indoors more often to avoid the chill. Summer, in contrast, might invite more outdoor activities. However, weather can even have an effect on a person’s mood — in particular influencing negative moods. For example, warmer temperatures and sunny weather might improve a person’s mood, while a brisk wind or rain might exacerbate a person’s bad mood. This phenomenon, called seasonal affective disorder, happens when weather affects a person’s mood, and is not necessarily tied to the same season for every person.

Researchers also linked hotter temperatures with increases in conflict and violence. Similarly, researchers also found that people were more aggressive with more rainfall. A different group of researchers found that women interviewed on rainy days or hot days were less satisfied with life than those interviewed on non-rainy days and cooler temperatures.

The weather may have an impact on your mood.

Image source: Michael Blann

However, reactions to such differences in weather also depend on the individual. According to a group of researchers led by Theo Klimstra, four main weather personality types exist: summer lovers, summer haters, rain haters, and those unaffected by weather. Their research suggested that only 52% of people are affected strongly by the weather. The personality types affect how a person might feel under different conditions. For example, summer lovers are happier on days with more sunshine and higher temperatures, while summer haters are the opposite. Rain haters tended to be angrier and less happy on rainy days.

Additionally, unexpected weather greatly impacts moods. For example, living in a generally cold and rainy climate and suddenly facing multiple months of sun and warm temperatures would cause a greater impact than living in a normally warm region and experiencing unusual amounts of sun and warm temperatures would, just because of the unexpected change. 

Although there appears to be a link between weather and mood, not everyone is equally affected, and the correlation is not a causation. Changes in weather, however, might be a cause of unexplainable changes in mood as well.

Feature Image Source: “Rainy Day, Dream All Day”. August, 2014.byRodrigo Vieira

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