735 Weather's Impact on Psychological Behaviors and Community Economics

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Christopher D'Ambrosio, Episcopal Academy, Wayne, PA

Weather can impact the psychological well-being and behavior of individuals in society. Understanding the impact of weather elements such as cloud cover, precipitation, and temperature can provide insights into potential mental health and economic challenges for affected communities.

This study examines the impact of weather phenomena on individuals’ mood changes and economic spending. The hypothesis predicts that if weather conditions are poor (cloudy, high precipitation, extremely hot or cold), then people’s moods and emotional well-being are negatively affected and consumer spending decreases. Two sources of data were used to test the hypothesis. The first data source was a customized survey which assessed weather and mood correlations across all 50 states. The chi-square test was used to determine whether the results were significant. The second source of data was a regression analysis, relating the U.S. daily spending with weather variables from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

The results showed that weather variables of a) sunny vs. cloudy conditions and b) moderate temperature have a statistically significant positive impact on moods, whereas precipitation did not have a statistically significant impact. Regarding consumer spending, however, precipitation is the weather variable that most explains consumer spending with a positive correlation and P value less than .05.

In conclusion, the hypothesis held true for the weather variables that impact moods, with people indicating more positive emotions when it was sunny and temperatures were moderate. However, contrary to the hypothesis, spending increased with more precipitation; perhaps it is because of the increasing usage of online shopping, which can occur in the comfort of one’s home during rainy days. Future studies will analyze different methods of shopping, e.g. store vs. online shopping, during various weather conditions. This methodology can also be used to explore longer-term human migration behavior patterns as influenced by weather and climate change.

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