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Study: We Believe a Hot Day Is Worse Than Divorce

Well, one particular study has discovered a rather awful point. An extremely hot day is more painful to us than divorce.


It’s a question fired over staid breakfast tables of dying marriages: “Geez, it’s hot out today.”

While that has been long discussed as a topic to discuss when there’s nothing left to discuss, but it seems that the question of the weather is more important than the failing marriage that surrounds it.

That is, if the findings of a new study are to be believed.

One study into the influence of the weather on people’s sense of well-being found a rather grating piece of data: “A day with temperature above 90 (relative to one in the 70s) has a bigger effect on the net affect than being divorced or widowed (relative to being married),” wrote the paper’s author Marie Connolly, who is a professor of economics at the University of Quebec.

Now, it’s a bit of a cheat. Is a temperate day with sun but a slight autumnal breeze > matrimony under the pervy gaze of Jesus?

Probably, maybe.

To figure this equation, Connolly first examined the link between subjective well-being (based on data from the Princeton Affect and Time Survey) and weather, and then compared it to earlier research showing that marriage is one of the strongest correlates of happiness and well-being.

There’s many quantifiers. As no sunny day is the same, as is no divorce. The apathetic emotional heat might be greater in one union than another. It might be an amicable split, or it might be the other way. However, this is pop science we’re talking about, so let’s keep it simple, shallow, and two-dimensional.

According to the findings, call it a plausibility. It seems the moment a couple decides to get divorced almost certainly correlates with a smaller drop in life satisfaction than the moment one steps outside on a very hot day.

For that, I get it. Some divorces come as a ray of sunshine where hope springs eternal, whereas, some humid godawful day is a suffocating heat you can’t escape. One that nags at you, fills your body, and saps your strength.

Apollo, I think I want a divorce.


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