New research suggests women perform better on maths and verbal tests at higher room temperatures than men.

Previous studies have found that women prefer warmer office temperatures than men, but it now appears that the battle for the thermostat could impact on performance.

Over 500 people participated in a German study in which they took logic, maths, and verbal tests in a room cooled or heated to one of a range of temperatures between 16.19℃ and 32.57℃, receiving cash rewards based on the number of questions correctly answered.

The authors found that female students generally performed better on math and verbal tests when the room temperature was at the warmer end of the distribution, submitting more correct responses as well as more responses overall.

Conversely, male students generally performed better on these tests at lower temperatures – at the warmer end of the temperature distribution, they submitted fewer responses, as well as fewer correct responses.

The improved performance of women in response to higher temperature was larger and more precisely estimated than the corresponding decrease in male performance.

Temperature did not appear to impact performance on the logic test for either gender.

“In a large laboratory experiment, over 500 individuals performed a set of cognitive tasks at randomly manipulated indoor temperatures. Consistent with their preferences for temperature, for both math and verbal tasks, women perform better at higher temperatures while men perform better at lower temperatures,” the researchers stated.

The study is accessible here.