Author(s): Baron RA, Bell PA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Two experiments were conducted to examine the influence of ambient temperature upon physical aggression. In the first, male subjects received either a positive or negative evaluation from a confederate and were then provided with an opportunity to agress against this person by means of electric shock. On the basis of previous research, it was predicted that high ambient temperatures (92-95 degrees F) would facilitate aggression by those receiving positive evaluations but actually inhibit such behavior by those receiving negative assessments. Results confirmed both of these predictions and also indicated that more moderate but still uncomfortably warm temperatures (82-85 degrees F) produced similar effects. The second experiment employed procedures similar to the first and examined the suggestion that administration of a cooling drink would reduce the impact of high ambient temperatures upon overt aggression. This prediction, too, was confirmed. The possible mediating role of negative affect with respect to the influence of ambient temperature and other environmental factors upon aggression was discussed.
This article was published in J Pers Soc Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Climatology & Weather Forecasting