The light intensity influences our financial decisions

Health 8 August, 2017


Published the 08.08.2017 at 13h43


Keywords :

lumièreargentprise decision

Nobody look at the weather before making a large financial decision, or go play at the casino. Except for perhaps the large one to be superstitious. This could yet prove to be useful, if one believes the results of a study from the university of Sydney, published in PLOS One.

The weather is nice, we would have the tendency to make financial choices more risky. “The days of highest light intensity, we can make more bad decisions, and we are the most inconsistent in our choices,” explains Agnieszka Tymula, a specialist in neuroeconomics at the university of Sydney, and one of the authors of the study.

Choices (little) lit

To achieve these outcomes, australian researchers have analyzed the financial decisions of more than 2 500 people. In an exhibition on aging at the Museum of the Academy of sciences in Washington (United States), they have responded via the tablet to a quarantine of monetary decisions. In parallel, local historical weather data were recorded.

When the luminance was high, the subjects of the study were more likely to avoid known risks. For example, when they had the choice between immediately receive $ 5 for sure or have a chance on two to reach 20 dollars, they chose rather the $ 5.

But on the other hand, in the same atmospheric conditions, they seem to be fond of the unknown risks. They were more likely to choose a gain, the hypothetical $ 20 that an immediate gain of $ 5.

A psychological impact

The effects of light on the body and mind begin to make themselves known. Sleep, appetite, mood, metabolism, depression… It is an important factor in these mechanisms, and sometimes in a very significant way. Thus, a radical decrease in lighting levels can induce an increase in the number of depressions of 10 to 20 %, or even diabetes.

Using it as a therapy, it is possible to reverse the trend. According to the australian study, it would seem that it can also play on the wallet. We now know why Scandinavians are less cheerful, but more rich !