Minnesotans Get Dumber When It Gets Hot Outside
If our latest spell of hot weather and high humidity has you feeling a little off, you're not alone-- we really do get dumber when it gets hot outside.
I just spent a week out in Colorado, where the daytime temperatures were well into the 90's-- sometimes topping 100 degrees-- but it's our oppressive humidity here in Minnesota that seems to make things tougher to endure. It's not the heat, but the gosh darn humidity, don'tcha know!
But if you've been feeling a step or two behind during this heatwave, don't blame yourself, the hot July Minnesota really CAN make us dumber! If you don't believe me, then how about the experts at Harvard?
They did a study two years ago that tested college students who lived in an air-conditioned dorm compared with some poor saps who lived in a dorm without air-conditioning (which is what I did when I lived in the dorms at UW-Eau Claire. Air-conditioning?!? We sure didn't have it!)
And guess what? This Boston Globe story says the students who sweated things out in the non-air conditioned dorms performed WORSE on several different cognitive tests.
"The students, for example, experienced 13.4 percent longer reaction times on a test where they were asked to correctly identify the color of displayed words. They also had a 13.3 percent lower scores on basic arithmetic questions," the story said about the Harvard test.
So, yeah. The heat CAN make us dumber-- Harvard says so. It's not our fault-- it's the Minnesota head and humidity this summer! At least that's the story I'm sticking with this summer the next time I screw things up...