Women generally favor warmer temperatures, while men prefer it cooler. Why? A new study says it’s about more than just comfort—room temperature actually affects the two gender’s cognitive abilities differently.

Researchers from the USC Marshal School of Business conducted an experiment with 542 students: 60% were male and 40% were female. These participants took logic, math, and verbal tests over the course of a few months in varying room temperatures that ranged from 61° F to 90° F.

The research team found that female students performed better on math and verbal tests in warmer room temperatures. In addition to answering more questions correctly, they answered more questions overall. Male students, on the other hand, generally performed better on math and verbal tests in cooler room temperatures.

Temperature did not appear to affect performance on the logic tests for either gender.

Researchers say these results suggest that room temperature affects more than just comfort and influences cognitive performance differently in men and women.


Chang, T. Y., Kajackaite, A. (2019, May 22). Battle for the thermostat: Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance. PLOS ONE. Retrieved from https://neurosciencenews.com/temperature-cognition-14057/

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Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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