Turning Up the Heat: The Impact of Indoor Temperature on Cognitive Processes and the Validity of Self-Report

Judgment and Decision Making, 16, 3, p. 766-795

23 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2021 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021

See all articles by Martijn Stroom

Martijn Stroom

School of Business and Economics, Department of Finance,Maastricht University.

Nils Kok

University of Maastricht - Limburg Institute of Financial Economics (LIFE)

Martin Strobel

Maastricht University - Department of Economics; Maastricht University - International Institute of Infonomics

Piet Eichholtz

Maastricht University

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Indoor climate interventions are often motivated from a worker comfort and productivity perspective. However, the relationship between indoor climate and human performance remains unclear. We assess the effect of indoor climate factors on human performance, focusing on the impact of indoor temperature on decision processes. Specifically, we expect heat to negatively influence higher cognitive rational processes, forcing people to rely more on intuitive shortcuts. In a laboratory setting, participants (N=257) were exposed to a controlled physical environment with either a hot temperature (28ºC) or a neutral temperature (22ºC), in which a battery of validated tests were conducted. We find that heat exposure did not lead to a difference in decision quality. We did find evidence for a strong gender difference in self-report, such that only men expect that high temperature leads to a significant decline in performance, which does in fact not materialize. These results cast doubt on the validity of self-report as a proxy for performance under different indoor climate conditions.

Keywords: indoor climate, heat, performance, decision quality, heuristics, biases, risk-taking, self-report

Suggested Citation

Stroom, Martijn and Kok, Nils and Strobel, Martin and Eichholtz, Piet, Turning Up the Heat: The Impact of Indoor Temperature on Cognitive Processes and the Validity of Self-Report (2021). Judgment and Decision Making, 16, 3, p. 766-795, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3822265 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3822265

Martijn Stroom (Contact Author)

School of Business and Economics, Department of Finance,Maastricht University. ( email )

Netherlands

Nils Kok

University of Maastricht - Limburg Institute of Financial Economics (LIFE) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands

Martin Strobel

Maastricht University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31 (0)43 38-83646 (Phone)
+31 (0)43 38-84878 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://Martin.Strobel.infonomics.nl

Maastricht University - International Institute of Infonomics ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31 (0)43 38-83885 (Phone)
+31 (0)43 38-84905 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://Martin.Strobel.infonomics.nl

Piet Eichholtz

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

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