Thermal stress in the U.S.A.: effects on violence and on employee behaviour
Article first published online: 18 OCT 2004
Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Stress and Health
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 3–15, February 2005
How to Cite
Simister, J. and Cooper, C. (2005), Thermal stress in the U.S.A.: effects on violence and on employee behaviour. Stress and Health, 21: 3–15. doi: 10.1002/smi.1029
- Issue published online: 28 JAN 2005
- Article first published online: 18 OCT 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 12 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Received: 3 MAY 2004
- thermal stress;
- employee behaviour;
- stress hormones
Many researchers have claimed to find a link between temperature and aggression; we use U.S.A. data to confirm strong seasonal patterns in several types of violent crime. We also report seasonal patterns in U.S.A. workplace data (strikes, and quitting jobs). We suggest a medical explanation for these seasonal patterns, based on stress hormones (adrenaline, and perhaps noradrenaline and/or testosterone). The human body generates adrenaline in response to excessive heat; adrenaline is helpful in keeping the body within safe limits, but we think that as a side effect it leads to aggression (which is often inappropriate). We examine the shape of the curve relating temperature to aggression. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.