The effect of weather and its changes on emotional state – individual characteristics that make us vulnerable
Abstract. Given the proven effects of weather on the human organism, an attempt to examine its effects on a psychological and emotional level has been made. Emotions affect the bio tone, working ability, and concentration; hence their significance in various domains of economic life such as health care, education, transportation, and tourism.
The present pilot study was conducted in Sofia, Bulgaria over a period of eight months, using five psychological methods: Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Test for Self-assessment of the emotional state, Test for evaluation of moods and Test ''Self-confidence-Activity-Mood''. The Fiodorov-Chubukov's complex-climatic method was used to characterize meteorological conditions in order to include a maximal number of meteorological elements in the analysis. Sixteen weather types are defined depending on the meteorological elements values according to this method. Abrupt weather changes from one day to another, defined by the same method, were also considered.
The results obtained by t-test showed that the different categories of weather led to changes in the emotional status, which indicates a character either positive or negative for the organism. The abrupt weather changes, according to expectations, have negative effects on human emotions – but only when a transition to the cloudy weather or weather type, classified as ''unfavorable'', has been realized. The relationship between weather and human emotions is rather complicated since it depends on individual characteristics of people. One of these individual psychological characteristics, marked by the dimension ''neuroticism'', has a strong effect on emotional reactions in different weather conditions. Emotionally stable individuals are more ''resistant'' to the weather influence on their emotions, while those who are emotionally unstable have a stronger dependence on the impacts of weather.