Asked by: Katrina O’Brien, Exeter
It may flourish when the Sun shines. In a recent French experiment, five 20-year-old men set out to ask for women’s phone numbers, approaching those walking alone in the street who appeared to be aged 18-25. When the Sun was shining, 22 per cent of the women gave out their phone numbers, compared with 14 per cent on cloudy days.
Bright sunshine lowers levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and increases levels of serotonin in the brain, leading to a better mood. So probably both the men and women felt more cheerful and more inclined to take a chance. The temperature was about the same on the different days so it was likely the sun, not the heat, that did the trick.