Women have a new weapon when making their case against the chilly office conditions many experience each summer. A new study shows women tend to perform better on certain skills when the temperature is a little warmer, making them more productive, while men tend to perform better when the temperature is a bit cooler.
As The Washington Post reports, in a paper released Wednesday by the journal PLOS One, researchers at the University of Southern California and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center reported that in experiments, tests scores on verbal and math skills improved for women as the temperatures rose, and were better for men when they declined (though to a lesser effect), opening a new front in the office thermostat wars.
Lead researcher Tom Chang, an associate professor at the USC business school, says he was surprised by was the magnitude of his study’s results. The study found that for every one-degree increase in Celsius, the number of math questions answered correctly by women went up by 1.76%.
Put another way: Even within normal indoor temperature variations—increasing the temperature from the 60s to the 70s in the room—female performance on the math tests increased by 15%. Read the full story.