Thread: Ahhh haaaaa..........
07-15-2005, 09:16 PM #1
Possible link between heat and violence......
Weather and Climate and Behavior
Human adaptation to extreme living conditions: heat, cold, high altitude, etc.
1) Physiological or biological adaptations (habituation): change in body regulatory functions — hot weather- blood vessels in extremities dilate to promote more rapid cooling of blood. (Acclimatization)
2) Cognitive adaptation: become accustomed to hot or cold — it becomes adaptation level — the norm. Limits to such adaptation.
3) Behavioral adjustment: Change our behavior. Turn up AC in summer or heat in winter. Wear warm clothing vs. minimal clothing. Cultures have developed ways of coping with extremes from the Arctic to the Sahara.
Temperature and Performance:
Physical performance: As temperature increases from warm to hot, physical productivity decreases. Heat as a stressor, body copes (resistance) and depletes resources (fluids) which leads to fatigue and exhaustion and, if stressor continues, may lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or a heart attack (Text, p. 180).
Cognitive performance: As temperature increases from 72-75, get slight decrease at 82, moderate decrease from 85-95, large decrease > 101. Could be stressor effect, but studies tend to be lab studies and short-term and need to cope reduced by absence of physical activity.
Distraction effect: Attend to heat and reaction to heat.
Mood effect: Aversive situation. Would be especially
plausible if heat and no control or relative disadvantage.
Cold temperatures studied less because easier to adjust to cold than heat. Cool classrooms.
Heat and Aggression:
Riots in US Cities (1967). Does heat promote or cause aggression?
Insufficient evidence to conclude that heat caused the riots — other factors present.
Review article by Anderson — "Temperature and Aggression: Ubiquitous Effects of Heat on Occurrence of Human Violence"
1) Geographical regions in countries: In northern hemisphere,
more violence, but not more non-violent crimes (burglary) in
southern part of country vs. northern part of country.
2) Time period effects (months or seasons). Effect of heat on
violent but not non-violent crime. Consistent across eras and
3) Concommitant studies: Studies in which temperature is
measured at time of aggression.
Field studies: Honking at car that does not move at light. AC vs. non-AC. Instrumental vs. angry/hostile aggression? As temp. increased, total honking increased for cars without AC (r = .76), but not for cars with AC (r = .12).
Lab studies: Aggression (shocks allegedly given to confederate who provoked subject) sometimes increase from 75 to 90, but decrease at extreme temperatures of 92 — 95. Therefore curvilinear effect. Negative affect–escape model.
High temperatures lead to desire to escape situation rather than aggress. Alternative explanation: reactivity (if lab hot, realize temperature being studied and react against situation).
Mechanisms for linkage of temperature and aggression: Negative affect — mood. Arousal: Increased temperature increases some aspects of sympathetic nervous system (heart rate, GSR) but also aspects of parasympathetic system associated with decreased arousal (decrease in blood pressure). Physiological -- hypothalamus mediates temperature regulatory functions and emotions, but no clear linkage.
General weather effects — Quality of weather on a scale from terrible to wonderful. Rating affected by weather variables and by adaptation and by planned activities.
People are more helpful on nice days than on bad days, especially if exposed to weather. Physiological effects: high barometric pressure à ‘high’? Arthritis and cool or damp weather. Mood effects: Good weather does not constrain activities; no need to cope with good weather; classical conditioning of mood — good weather linked to good times. Negative mood when cannot take advantage of a beautiful day.
Weather and suicide. No simple or obvious linkage. Retirees move to sunbelt and aged (esp. males) group most likely to commit suicide, esp. when ill.
Lack of sunshine and depression (SAD) — not ubiquitous. E.g. submarines — 60 days without sunshine or bright lights.
Other related effects
Wind — for most of us a nuisance, and then only when interferes with activities. For some, living in areas where there are named seasonal winds (Santa Anna, Chinook, Fohn, Bora, Mistral) something to cope with. That, rather than wind itself or atmospheric conditions associated with wind, may be responsible for reports of physical and mental problems.
Air-ionization — air splits into positive and negative molecules (ions). Caused by lighting, waterfalls, or machines one can buy. Negative ions smell ‘clean’, do remove dust from air. No other consistent effects. FDA: cannot claim health effects.
ELF-EMFs — Extremely Low Frequency Electro-Magnetic Fields associated with power lines, transformers, etc. Alleged to cause leukemia and other cancers. Recent reviews of studies show no effects. Magnetic fields of power lines far less than Earth’s natural magnetic field (Text, p. 195).
Lunar Lunacy — If occurs (psychiatric hospitals) produced by ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ effect.
Maybe — under some circumstances.
Pleasant smells and helping: Pleasant setting — willing to stay in it. Positive mood.
Odors and productivity: Arousal? Hawthorne effect?
07-15-2005, 09:17 PM #2
AGGRESSION Linked To Higher Brain Temperatures
Minutes before an NHL game winds down, a player nails another with an unprovoked, injury-causing blow. The act is later described as having happened in the heat of the moment. Ehor Boyanowsky thinks heat was actually a key factor. The Simon Fraser University criminologist has spent three decades researching the effects of heat on the brain and the correlation between temperature and aggression. He contends that higher brain temperature plays a significant role in violent crime.
"Temperature lowers the threshold for aggression," says Boyanowsky, who summarized his research in a paper, Violence and Aggression in the Heat of Passion and in Cold Blood, published in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry last fall. He's planning to conduct further research in SFU's hyperbaric chamber. Boyanowsky says when temperature goes up, inhibitions diminish, causing some people to become aggressive. "They become increasingly able to short circuit the cues that would otherwise warn them about their agitation." Ironically, in the case of the hockey incident, helmets worn for safety only intensify the heat. Boyanowsky suggests, "they might want to think about designing helmets with cooling systems."
Boyanowsky believes climate also plays a key role in aggression. Heightened levels of interpersonal aggression in southern climates have usually been attributed to cultural differences. "We all know metaphors such as the emotional hot-blooded Latins, and the reserved, cold-blooded Nordic types, and in a sense, they are true," says Boyanowsky. "I hypothesize that humankind has not evolved separately in adaptation to hot versus cold climates, and so people in hot climates may often be functioning in a state of mild to severe thermoregulatory stress, which lowers their threshold for violent reactions."
In his paper, which cites more than 30 studies supporting his own theories, Boyanowsky refers to one British newspaper article pointing out how desert villages in Iran were known for violent aggression, while the same cultural group living in balmier coastal villages were gentle by contrast.
"Even in the U.S., such differences of formal civility and higher violence rates in the southern states, versus greater bluntness and lower violence rates in the north have been observed," he writes, suggesting that given the advent of global warming, there is "some urgency to isolate these effects, especially in areas where climate control has no useful relevance." Boyanowsky says most of the U.S. race riots in 1967 occurred on days with temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature remained hot in cities where riots continued, and dropped in those where rioting ended. He says numerous studies have since found a linear relationship between environmental or ambient temperature and assaultive crime.
Boyanowsky's own research points to the serious effects of increased brain temperature, whether by climate or other factors. While conducting research on violent criminals in prison, he found that their brain temperatures rose significantly while under the influence of alcohol.
"We often think that alcohol is a factor in violent crime, but in fact it doesn't cause the aggression. It lowers the threshold." Boyanowsky conducted earlier laboratory studies in which subjects were put in rooms where the temperature varied from cold to warm (30 degrees Celsius). During that time they responded to insulting oral feedback from an accomplice on their performance of a task. Subjects registered more high intensity shocks as responses when temperatures were higher. But retaliation was slower in heat. "That's because besides de****g with mounting aggression, physiologically, people are also struggling in heat with a desire to reduce body heat."
In other tests, Boyanowsky concluded that cold temperatures actually improve sexual ardour. He put male college students in a room with varying temperatures, from hot to cold and allowed them exposure to sexually arousing material. The hotter the temperature, the more time they spent avoiding the material. When the temperature dropped, they became more interested. "It's a known fact that heat destroys testosterone ," he adds. "Taking a cold shower may actually be a good thing."
07-16-2005, 01:06 AM #3
i could see it. people are more irritable when they are uncomfortable.
07-16-2005, 10:39 AM #4
doesnt explain the vikings though Not like the russians are a peacefull people either.
07-16-2005, 11:01 AM #5
I think climate is the base for an economy. Because agriculture is the base for the start of an economy. And a healty agriculture and farming land will help alot.
The United States for instance has some of the best lands to plant crops.
07-16-2005, 11:37 PM #6
well extreme climate doesnt necessarily mean hot. as in russia, id be pretty blah too if everyday it was freezing cold outside. i think that more of a hot climate would lead to more aggravation, but thats cuz i dont mind the cold that much. im sure there are those who live in the cold and would not care so much about living in the hot areas. perhaps its not the case everywhere, but i can see it as a possible reason for some wars, fights, or whatever. its not the main reason, but i could see it adding to the stress and then that stress causing people to act a little more irrational..??
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