Why it’s harder to stay alert in the summer heat?



person covering woman with blanket

Have you tried reading a book in this heat? It’s virtually impossible to finish a paragraph. Brain fog is not a myth. The National Bureau of economic research found that test scores are lower when temperatures are high, but only in schools without air conditioning.

Studies have also shown that people seem to have a harder time making decisions in the heat. Convenience stores sell fewer lottery tickets from their wide array of scratch-offs, while still selling plenty of the pick-six type.

Similarly,  when the temperature was hot, more people chose cell phone plans that looked like a good deal on the surface but would cost more in the long run. At cooler temperatures, people were more willing to do the math to choose the better option.

So, what can we take from the above? Heat does affect our ability to make cognitively complex decisions. So if you need to do some reading or hard thinking this summer, schedule your most demanding tasks for the morning or evening when it’s cooler, or consider plugging the A/C.



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