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The influence of climatocultural background on outdoor thermal perception
- Brychkov, Dmitry, Garb, Yaakov, Pearlmutter, David
- International journal of biometeorology 2018 v.62 no.10 pp. 1873-1886
- acclimation, bioclimatology, environmental factors, sensation
- This study examines the extent to which people with different past thermal experience and “climatocultural” history systematically report different outdoor thermal sensations and thermal comfort patterns. After constructing two distinct climatocultural groups co-inhabiting the research setting (native Israelis vs. representatives of colder regions), and comparing their relative thermal preferences in both short-term and long-term observational experiments, we confirmed the existence of a strong correlation between affiliation to a certain climatocultural group and outdoor thermal sensation. It was shown that the degree of this correlation was not a constant value, and the strength of the difference in thermal sensation between different groups might change subject to different environmental conditions and possibly expectations. Under some environmental conditions, i.e., stressful but not extreme, the differences may be accentuated, while under others, i.e., either comfortable or extremely stressful, the scope of difference may diminish. Short-term acclimation may to some extent offset the differences between separate climatocultural groups. The study also showed that the meaning of the thermal comfort scale itself may be perceived unevenly between representatives of different groups.