Listen: Icy Room Temperatures May Chill Productivity
"This is science Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Christopher Dodd yada, a few years ago, scientists determine that our thermostats are sexist namely. That office. Climates had been optimized for a hypothetical room full of forty year old hundred fifty pound men using standards developed more than fifty years ago, and that ends up leaving a lot of women in the cold, call the ballot thermostat, right? Tom Chang, a behavioral economists at the USC Marshall school of business, he says, it goes beyond comfort for women. It seems that it's not just a matter of comfort. But it also affects their productivity Chang, and his colleague tested that link between temperature and performance by quizzing five hundred forty three German students on basic addition skills, and word scrambles in rooms that varied from sixty to ninety degrees Fahrenheit. And if you went from, let's say, the low sixties to the mid seventies, you saw an increase in female performance of almost fifteen percent, one five not five zero which I found. Markedly large as much larger than I had expected the effects tapered off after the mid seventies. But men on the other hand had a small decrease in performance about three percent as temperatures rose to the mid seventies, the results are in the journal plus one and there's a chance. These findings might explain things like disparities test scores on the SAT the longstanding gap in performance between high school boys and high school girls on the map portion of the SAT's approximately four percent. So given the effect size refinding. That's three degrees. Difference in indoor temperature still, he says, I wouldn't go running off writing policy off of one study. But it seems Cynthia Nixon had the thermostat dialed in just right last year. The actor turned politician was preparing to debate Andrew Cuomo as vita for the democratic nomination for New York state, governor debate venues are usually kept pretty chilly. But she requested a more balmy. And perhaps cognitively friendly, Seventy-six degrees. Thanks for listening for scientific American sixty seconds science. I'm Christopher Don. Yata."