What's Your Weather Personality Type?
The day's weather can make one person cheery while causing another to feel grumpy. Now research suggests we are hard-wired in how we respond to weather.
Scientists have identified four personality types based on how weather affects a person's frame of mind. The discovery comes from a large study involving more than 800 participants.
This study, which ran in the northern, temperate climate of western Europe, looked at three measures of daily weather: percentage of sunshine, average temperature, and hours of precipitation. These were matched with three indicators of mood: happiness, anxiety and anger. Scientists assessed the emotional state of adolescents and their mothers with a questionnaire that each person filled out daily for six weeks, spread out over the two-year study. The mood data came from a large, ongoing project in the Netherlands titled Research on Adolescent Development and Relationships (RADAR).
The researchers discovered that two people can react in opposite ways to the same weather. The best means they found to explain the results was to group people based on how their outlook changed with increasing rain, sun or temperature. This study is the first to identify distinct personality patterns that correlate with responses to weather. The scientists characterized four groups of people which they labelled Summer Lovers, Summer Haters, Rain Haters and Unaffected.
Then the data revealed something even more compelling. Mothers tend to have the same weather reactions as their sons and daughters. In other words, weather personality types appear to run in families. Whether this is due to genetics, or just a parent's attitudes rubbing off onto their children, or vice versa, the study couldn't say. Nevertheless, this finding bolsters the theory that for many people weather and mood are strongly linked.
The 4 Weather Mood Personality Types Described
For this article we've given nicknames to the weather personality categories. So for instance, what the researchers term 'Summer Lovers' we call 'Fair Weather Fans'. Here are the key features characteristic of each weather style.
Fair Weather Fan (Summer Lovers) — Warm, sunny weather brings out the best in you. Clear skies put you in good spirits. You feel happier, less fearful and less angry on days with more sunshine and higher temperatures. While sun and temperature affect you most, you also respond to rain. Ongoing rainstorms will dampen your spirits a little.
Cool Cloudy Collected (Summer Haters) — Cool, cloudy weather is when you thrive. Once it turns warm and sunny, you get grouchy; you become more unhappy, fearful and angry. It's not just a dull day that has you feeling upbeat. Even a little rain gives your mood a boost. You and Fair Weather Fans are complete opposites.
Dry Day Delighted (Rain Haters) — Rain really bothers you. Wet weather disturbs you far more than it influences other weather personality types. Drizzly days have you feeling unhappy, anxious and most of all, angry. Besides being dry, warmth and sun also cheer you up and put you at ease, as for a Fair Weather Fan. But unlike Fair Fans, the main good mood driver for you is lack of rain.
Unfazed Whatever (Unaffected) — You generally don't let the weather trouble you. Rain or shine, hot or cold - you calmly sail through it all, compared with everyone else. Still, you might feel a little more anxious than normal on the cooler, cloudier days.
How Do You Compare?
If your outlook is Unfazed by weather, you are like nearly half (48 %) of the mothers and their teenagers in the Netherlands study. The rest have moods that rise and fall significantly with the weather.
Among these, the most common weather mood type is the Fair Weather Fan which makes up close to one-quarter (23 %) of people. Cool Cloudy Collected types comprise 19 percent, while just one in ten are Dry Day Delighteds.
These personality types prevail even though the Netherlands has a rather moderate climate. Temperatures always remained above freezing during the study. The coolest days warmed up to 7 degrees Celsius (45 ° Fahrenheit), while the hottest days peaked at 31.5 °C (89 °F). The amount of sun throughout the research ranged from completely cloudy days to ones with 90 percent sunshine. For precipitation, many days had none, while several had over five hours of rain.
Theo A. Klimstra, Tom Frijns, Loes Keijsers, Jaap JA Denissen, Quinten AW Raaijmakers, Marcel AG van Aken, Hans M Koot, Pol AC van Lier and Wim HJ Meeus. 2011. Come Rain or Come Shine: Individual Differences in How Weather Affects Mood. Emotion. 11(6): 1495-1499.