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How does weather effect human emotions?
Question Date: 2007-12-19
Answer 1:

There is an ailment called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It usually strikes individuals in the summer or winter. For example, if someone is used to California sun year round, then that person would be susceptible to SAD if she actually experienced a season that has less sun than she is used to having at that time of year. For example, a person moving to Michigan would have snow in winter, but even rain is sparse in Santa Barbara during the winter.

There might be a physiological basis to this psychological ailment. Our bodies have a daily cycle that they go through, and this is usually driven by sun light. When an individual is deprived of that light, then he might have some ailment. As you can guess, people have tried light therapy to overcome SAD.

Answer 2:

That varies a lot depending on who we are talking about; different people respond to weather differently. Generally speaking, humans will be happier if the weather is to their liking. Weather that results in low light and is wet tends to make people feel sleepy, while in the sun they will be more energetic. Some people like it hot, and some like it cold. Some people don't mind humidity, while others prefer dryness. It all varies from person to person.

As a note, people do seem to need natural light -there is something about the basically white color and the intensity of daylight that is necessary for mental health. People who live in the far north where winters are a perpetual twilight or just plain dark tend to have very high suicide rates because of it.

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