Need to warm up! Ambient coldness increases vice inclinations

Yining Yu, Lei Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


While researchers have begun to investigate how ambient elements affect people's vice inclinations, the effect of ambient temperature on vice inclinations is relatively unknown. Through three experiments, the present study reveals that ambient coldness (vs. hotness) increases vice inclinations, including both vice consumptions and vice activities. This phenomenon is induced by the automatically activated affective decision-making mode, which helps people acquire emotional warmth to complement their physical coldness. Driven by the affective decision-making mode, people are more inclined to vice behaviors. The present study is among the first to explore the effect of ambient temperature on vice inclinations (i.e., vice consumption and vice activity) which extends the literature regarding the downstream consequences of thermoregulation. Practical Applications: Our study provides practical insights for the sake of activity organizers, policymakers, educators, and employers. First, we suggest that changing the temperature inside lower than the outside could trigger vice inclinations, which offers an easy and cheap method for activity organizers to enliven the atmosphere and increase participant's involvement. Also, it might be less effective for policymakers to promote vice-resisting campaigns on cold days since people are more inclined to temptations in the cold atmosphere. Moreover, our findings are instructive for educators and employers. A colder-than-average atmosphere might hamper students' and employees' academic or work performances, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12686
JournalJournal of Sensory Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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