Does Our Cold Climate Make Us Cranky?

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Does the cold weather we’re “enjoying” – if you’ll pardon the expression – right now make us crankier than people who live in a more temperate climate?

A new study by Chinese researchers suggests it does, finding that people who grow up in area where the average temperature is in the low 70s “score higher on personality factors related to socialization and stability (agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability) and personal growth,” being outgoing and open to new experiences.

In other words, when it’s easy and comfortable to be outside all the time, humans are much mellower.

This makes perfect sense. Folks in San Diego don’t suffer from cabin fever, or the sense that many of us get in early February that if the world were to come to an end right now, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

And it’s not just the cold that tends to make us grumpy six months out of the year. I like snow and ice just fine, on the ski slopes and in hockey rinks.

Otherwise, forget it.

And if there’s a man or woman alive who likes slush – not the delicious warm-weather snack but the grotesque cold-weather annoyance - I haven’t met them.

The Chinese study does find that “a cold climate compels people to seek social warmth,” but I’m a bit skeptical. Washington DC is plenty cold from November through mid-March, and I don’t see much bonding going on down there.

Terrible traffic, high cost of living, there are lots of reasons why we’re a bit cranky around here.

And if you don’t agree with me, well, it’s cold outside, so shut up.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.

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