When It Gets Too Hot Outside, You Get Dumber

This might explain Florida.

July 12, 2018

Feeling especially dumb lately? "Lately."

According to a new study out of Harvard, when it's really hot outside, it makes people dumber!  The researchers found when there's a heat wave, students get lower scores on tests than they do when the weather's nicer.  From the Boston Globe:

Researchers studied 44 students in Boston in their late teens and early 20s. Twenty-four lived in air-conditioned buildings. The other 20 lived in buildings that did not have air conditioning.

The study was conducted over a 12-day period in the summer of 2016. The first five days temperatures were seasonable, then came a five-day heat wave, then a two-day cooldown, the researchers said. The researchers did not release the names of the buildings or the institutions the students attended.

The students were asked to take two tests on their smartphones right after waking up each day. The test results showed that during the heat wave students without air conditioning experienced decreases across five measures of cognitive function. The students, for example, experienced 13.4 percent longer reaction times on a test where they were asked to correctly identify the color of displayed words. They also had a 13.3 percent lower scores on basic arithmetic questions.