Anderson, C.A. (2001). Heat and  Violence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 33-38.


The heat hypothesis states that hot temperatures can increase aggressive motives and behaviors. Although alternative explanations occasionally account for some portion of the observed increases in aggression when temperatures are high, none are sufficient to account for most such heat effects. Hot temperatures increase aggression by directly increasing feelings of hostility and indirectly increasing  aggressive thoughts. Results show that global warming trends may well increase violent crime rates. Better climate controls in many institutional settings (e.g., prisons, schools, the workplace) may reduce aggression-related problems in those settings. 

Key words: Temperature; Aggression; Violence; Global Warming

© Copyright 1999 by Craig A. Anderson

  Click here to download a pdf version of this article.

  You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read this file. You can get a free copy of the
  Reader at Adobe's web site: