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Too cold, too hot? It's in your mind

UPI News Service, 08/14/2006 

The temperature wars between people who complain it's either too hot or too cold in a room are mostly psychological, an Arizona psychologist says.

William C. Howell, an adjunct psychology professor at Arizona State University, says he asked volunteers in an experiment to describe how comfortable they felt in a room, The Washington Post reported.

Saying he lost their original answers, he called half of them back two days later, after raising the temperature 5 degrees. He asked them again how they felt about the room's temperature.

With the other half of the group, he kept the temperature steady but told them it was warmer than the first day. And he asked them their feelings, the Post said.

Group No. 1 gave the same response as the first time. Group No. 2 said it felt warmer.

"The take-home practical message, as far as conservation is concerned, is that 1 or 2 degrees nationwide could make a huge difference (in energy consumption) without having any substantial effect on comfort at all," Howell told the Post.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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