Temperature and aggression: Effects on quarterly, yearly, and city rates of violent and nonviolent crime.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 1161-1173.
The hypothesized relation between uncomfortably hot temperatures and aggressive behavior was examined in two studies of violent and nonviolent crime. Data on rates of murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft were gathered from archival sources. The first three crimes listed are violent; the latter four are less violent (labeled nonviolent). On the basis of previous research and theory (Anderson & Anderson, 1984), it was predicted that violent crimes would be more prevalent in the hotter quarters of the year and in hotter years. Furthermore, it was predicted that this temperature-crime relation would be stronger for violent than for nonviolent crime. Study 1 confirmed both predictions. Also, differences among cities in violent crime were predicted to be related to the hotness of cities; this effect was expected to be stronger for violent than for nonviolent crimes. Study 2 confirmed both predictions, even when effects of a variety of social, demographic, and economic variables were statistically removed. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
©1987 by the American Psychological Association.
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