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Does the Weather Really Affect Mood?

based on 123 ratings
Author: Megan Doyle

Grade Level: 6th to 8th; Type: Social Science

Objective:

This experiment will evaluate if weather can impact the way people feel.

Research Questions:

  • Does weather have any effect on mood?
  • Are people more likely to be dissatisfied or melancholy on a rainy, overcast day?
  • Are people more likely to be happy on a sunny day?
  • Is one gender or age group more likely to be influenced by the weather?

It has long been believed that weather has influence over people's mood and behavior. In this experiment, the emotional disposition of many test subjects will be evaluated on rainy and sunny days to find out if weather can really impact the way people feel.

Materials:

  • Weather forecast
  • Approximately 50 test subjects
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Notebook for analyzing results

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Create a survey to give your test subjects that analyzes their current mood. Example questions could include: Rate your current level of stress on a scale of 1 to 10. How many fights/disagreements have you had today? How many times have you honked your horn while driving in your car today? On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your life? How many good things have happened to you today? On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your current energy level.
  2. Wait for a sunny day and ask many test subjects to take your survey. Give the survey at the end of the day to ensure that test subjects have been exposed to the weather long enough for it to have an effect. Include males and females in many different age groups.
  3. Ask the same test subjects to repeat the survey at the end of an overcast, rainy day.
  4. Analyze the surveys taken by each test subject. Do you observe any patterns in your test subjects’ response to each survey? Do responses differ dramatically between the two days? Are there certain groups of people that seem to be more influenced by the weather?

Terms/Concepts: Weather and mood

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