Working Paper

Ambient temperature, social perception and social behavior


  • Krause
  • J.
  • Nanninga
  • G.
  • Ring
  • P.
  • Schmidt
  • U.
  • Schunk
  • D.
Publication Date

The literature suggests that human perception and behavior vary with physical temperature. We provide an experimental test of how different ambient temperature conditions impact social behavior and social perception: Subjects went through a series of tasks measuring various aspects of social behavior and perception under three temperature conditions (cold vs. optimal vs. warm). Despite well-established findings on temperature effects, our data suggest that physical temperature has no relevant influence on social behavior and social perception. We corroborate our finding of a null effect by the use of equivalence testing and provide a discussion in the light of recent failed replication attempts in this field of research.

Kiel Institute Experts


JEL Classification
C90, D01, D90, D91

Key Words

  • Ambient temperature
  • cooperation
  • social preferences