(WDIV) – Summer is in full swing, and if your brain seems to not be firing on all cylinders, there may be a good reason.
Some researchers attribute it to Ingrained Seasonal Behavior.
“From the time we’re pretty young we’ve developed impressions that summertime is associated with more leisure, less critical thinking, less requirement and we really live that out,” says Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Scott Bea.
Dr. Bea says we start associating summer with “kicking back” as children and never let go.
Studies have shown when the weather is nice, people tend to focus more on what they’d rather be doing, not on the task at hand. Harvard researchers found just showing people pictures of nice weather decreased their productivity.
Then, there’s the heat.
“You can learn calculus in a room that’s 120 degrees, but it’s a lot easier when it’s just 70 degrees and actually, that’s what they find,” Dr. Bea explains. “That the optimal temperature is somewhere between 72 and 81 degrees for our brains to operate.”
People also tend to feel happier as the days get warmer and longer. Researchers say this may cause us to make quicker decisions that are not as thought-out as they would normally be.