Turns Out Lighting Can Affect Way More Than Just Your Mood

Researchers say the brighter the light, the more heated our emotions become

Lighting does more than just make us look good.

According to researchers at University of Toronto Scarborough, the way a room is lit can determine our emotions. For example, dimming it down a notch may help you make better decisions — and even negotiate a better business deal. The reason: The harshness from bright lights can intensify feelings, hindering our ability to think clearly.

(I can’t help but be reminded of the stereotypical movie scene where an investigator is questioning a murder suspect with a blinding light in his face.)

The professors discovered that lighting also had an effect on the way we perceive products and people. For example: It seems that study participants who were placed in a well-lit room found people to be more aggressive and craved spicy over mild chicken-wing sauce. When asked to judge women’s attractiveness, the majority of those in the well-lit room found the women very attractive. Positive words made them feel really good and negative words made them feel really awful.

Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of management at UTSC, explained that the bright light effect on our emotional system may be the result of it being perceived as heat — in other words, heated emotions. “Bright light intensifies the initial emotional reaction we have to different kinds of stimulus,” she stated, as reported by ScienceDaily. “If you are selling emotional expressive products, such as flowers or engagement rings, it would make sense to make the store as bright as possible."

So, conclusion? Having an argument, dim the lights. Jewelry shopping with your guy, head to a store with the most obnoxious florescent lights.

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