Come Rain, Come Shine

Half of us aren’t really affected by seasonal weather changes but Dutch research shows weather preferences can run in families.

Psychologists exploring how weather affects mood found a surprising number of people share their attitudes to weather with their mothers.

Theo Klimstra and colleagues asked almost 500 adolescents to record their mood every day for 30 days and then analysed objective weather data for those days.

They found that people could be classified into four distinct types:

  • Summer lovers – 16% who enjoyed a better mood with warmer and sunnier weather;
  • Summer haters – 26% who had a worse mood and were more anxious with warmer and sunnier weather and enjoyed wet weather and sleet better;
  • Rain haters – who had a particularly bad mood on rainy days;
  • and the Unaffected – who had a weak association between weather and mood.

The researchers also found agreement between the adolescents and their mothers, who also kept diaries, suggesting that mood and weather preferences were passed on by families.

This is perhaps not so surprising given that the mother is usually the main care provider for young children and that shared experiences eg holidays when children are young, are probably an influence.

Source: American Psychological Association

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