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Heat can make people experience unreasonable aggression: scientists explain who is at risk

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
Heat can bring out the worst in some people

Scientists know that periods of prolonged heat provoke wars and unrest on Earth. For example, it can be said that this is caused by crop failures and water supply problems, which ultimately cause ac effect. However, a new study shows that the heat itself can have a negative impact on individuals, causing them to become aggressive.

This is stated in a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research as a working paper. The details are reported by LiveScience.

The researchers found that those who are most affected by the heat are those who already feel marginalized. These are the people who are rejected by society and the political system, as well as those who are representatives of national minorities, migrants, people from rural areas, etc.

"Given the climate change that's happening around the world and the temperature changes, we think this is an important area of research," said Robert Pickmans, co-author of the new paper and a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley.

The scientist said that, unlike other studies with small and limited sample sizes, the new study involved about 900 participants from Berkeley (USA) and 1,000 from Nairobi (Kenya).

The volunteers were placed in two separate rooms, one of which was kept at 22 degrees Celsius and the other at 30 degrees Celsius. In these rooms, they were given a standard set of tests for decision-making and cognitive abilities, after which the scientists compared the data obtained, even though they had stopped making decisions, trusting their intuition.

It turned out that there were not many differences. In the hot room, people complained of drowsiness, but in general, their decision-making ability did not deteriorate.

But an interesting result was obtained during a task called "the joy of destruction." During this test, the participant was given the opportunity to erase part of the savings of another subject. At the same time, the person who did this was not promised any monetary or other reward. That is, as the scientist explained, the task was only related to the desire to release aggression.

In most cases, the heat did not affect how people played the "joy of destruction" in Berkeley, but participants in the hot room in Nairobi were more ruthless.

Further research found that this effect was because the participants belonged to ethnic groups that were marginalized by the disputed elections that upended daily life in Kenya at the time.

Pickmans noted that the results of this game may show a link between temperature and political violence.

In the future, the scientists intend to conduct similar tests, but to increase the time spent by the participants in the experiment in the rooms, as well as to raise the temperature in the hot room above 30 degrees Celsius.

As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, scientists suggest that global warming could kill a billion people in 100 years.

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