The Influence of Emotion and Gender on Work Efficiency in Hazy Weather

Author(s): Yaozhong Liu, Min Liu, Kai Yu

In recent years, the eastern part of China has suffered numerous large-scale continuous fog and haze, which seriously impact people’s production and life. In present research, a combination method of questionnaire and experiment is used to discuss whether the hazy weather could in-fluence the emotion and if there are any impacts on the work efficiency. 2 (gender) × 3 (emotional type: positive, neutral and negative) completely randomized design is used and the reaction time (RT) is analyzed. The results show that 1) hazy weather truly induces the negative emotion, e.g. depression and anxiety; 2) the interaction effect of emotion and gender is significant; the RT of females is significantly longer than males’ in negative emotion condition; for females, RT in negative emotion condition is significantly longer than that in positive and neutral emotion condition, which shows that the hazy weather would lead some inefficiency.

Weather is widely believed to influence the individual’s mood [1

] . World Health Organization’s (WHO) data showed: “El Nino” phenomenon during 1982-1983 made about 10 million people suffer from depression, a significant increase in the incidence of mental illness and traffic accidents. Some studies have also found that seasonal affective disorders (SAD) were mainly occurred in the spring [2] . According to some physiological data, in sunny day when the sunshine is sufficient, the body’s pineal gland inhibited by the light decreases the secretion of hormones, while the secretion of thyroxine and adrenaline rises; in rainy day, the situation is reversed. Thyroxine and adrenaline can promote cell metabolism, increase oxygen consumption, and stimulate tissue growth and differentiation. In hazy day, it is dim, which is bound to make the pineal gland physiological changes. It is apparent that hazy weather and people’s emotion are closely related.

Emotion is often described to be the response to the important events which are produced in an internal or external situation. People always have the same response to the same event. The duration of emotion is usual short, with a group of co-ordinated response including language, physiological, behavioral and neural mechanisms. Emotion has often been conceptualized within a cirumlplex structure of affect. In this structure, the dimensions of valence (unpleasantness vs. pleasantness) and arousal (low vs. high) can be distinguished [3

] . Negative emotions often include stress, anger, depression, anxiety, sadness, fatigue, etc.

There is a gender difference in emotional experience. Studies have showed that female can experience the emotion more frequently than male as well as the intensity [4] . Grossman and Wood have selected five different emotions (including fear, joy, sadness, anger and love) to be compared [5] . The results were consistent to the conclusion above. On the basis of previous studies, the present study supposes that the emotion experience induced by the hazy weather has a gender difference.

Hazy weather can induce negative emotional perception, which shows gender differences: the perception of females is stronger than that of males; negative emotions and gender interact the working memory: RT of females is significantly longer than that of males in the group of negative emotions, and RT of females in negative emotion condition is longer than that in positive and neutral emotion condition. In the rest of conditions, there is no significant difference being found.


Journal: Open Journal of Social Sciences

DOI: 10.4236/jss.2015.35009 (PDF)
Paper Id: 56176 (metadata)

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