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At the hot end of the range, Kajackaite said, “Some of the guys asked to take off their t-shirts, but I wouldn’t let them.” Men didn’t perform quite as well in warmer environments, correctly answering an average of 0.07 percent fewer math questions per one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature increase, while women performed 1.76 percent better per each increase. “To put the magnitude of these effects in perspective, the well-known, longstanding gap in performance between high school boys and girls on the math portion of the SAT is approximately four percent,” the researchers write. The word and thinking tests didn’t yield clear cut results, although the word test did show the same trend of women performing better at higher temperatures.
This doesn’t mean that employers should rush to adjust their office thermostats. “For setting the temperature at a different level, one would need to run more experiments,” says Kajackaite. After all, this experiment was only an hour long, and participants were demographically similar to one another. Humans being the unique creatures they are—and gender being the complex spectrum it is—it’s silly to conclude that some particular temperature will optimize the work performance of all men to the detriment...
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