International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 233–246 | Cite as

Classroom performance as a function of thermal comfort

  • A. Auliciems
Article

Abstract

Measures of mental performance and thermal sensations were gained from 23 classes of secondary school children in England (aged 11–16) during winter. Warmth was estimated in terms of equivalent (Teq), corrected effective (CET) and air temperature. Statistical association was found between performance decrements at some tasks and environmental warmth, with maximum being located in conditions below thermal neutrality for the sample at approximately 62°F (16.5°C) Teq. In certain cases lowered performance was evident within a range of temperatures normally considered as comfortable. The present results were compared to those of preceding studies and the practical application of the findings discussed.

Zusammenfassung

Während 2 Winterperioden wurden die geistige Leistung und das Wärmeempfinden 11–16 Jahre alter Schüler von 23 Sekundärschulklassen in Reading, England gemessen. Die Wärme wurde als Äquivalent-, Korrigierte wirksame (corrected effective) und Luft (trocken)-Temperatur bestimmt. Eine statistische Beziehung wurde zwischen Leistungsabfall und Umgebungswärme gefunden. Das Maximum des Abfalls lag unterhalb thermoneutraler Bedingungen bei ungefähr 16.5°C Teq. In bestimmten Fällen war eine verminderte Leistung im Temperaturbereich erkennbar, der normalerweise als angenehm gilt. Die Ergebnisse werden mit denen früherer Studien verglichen.

Resume

On a mesuré le travail intellectuel et la sensibilité thermique des élèves de 23 classes secondaires (de 11 à 16 ans) de Reading (Angleterre). La chaleur a été prise en considération sous forme de température équivalente-potentielle (Teq), effective corrigée (CET) et du thermomètre sec. On a trouvé une relation statistique entre une baisse du rendement pour certains travaux et la température ambiante. La baisse la plus importante se rencontre par des températures inférieures au point neutre de l'échantillon, c'est-à-dire inférieures à 16,5°C Teq. Dans certains cas, on a dû constater une baisse de rendement évidente par des températures normalement considérées comme agréables. On compare ces résultats à ceux d'études précédentes et on en discute les applications pratiques possibles.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. AULICIEMS, A. (1969a): Thermal requirements of secondary schoolchildren in winter. J. Hyg. (Camb.), 67: 59–65.Google Scholar
  2. AULICIEMS, A. (1969b): Effects of weather on indoor thermal comfort. Int. J. Biometeor., 13: 61–76.Google Scholar
  3. AULICIEMS, A. (1969c): Some group differences in thermal comfort. Heat. Vent. Eng. J. Air Condit., 4: 562–564.Google Scholar
  4. BARTLEY, S.H. and CHUTE, E. (1947): Fatigue and Impairment in Man. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  5. BROADBENT, D. (1953): Neglect of the surroundings in relation to fatique decrements in output. In: Symposium on Fatigue. W.F. Floyd and A.T. Welford (ed.), H.K. Lewis, London, 173–178.Google Scholar
  6. CARPENTER, A. (1950): A comparison of the influence of handle load and of unfavorable atmospheric conditions on a tracking task. Quart. J. exp. Psychol., 2: 1–6.Google Scholar
  7. JOHNSON, D.M. (1955): The Psychology of Thought and Judgment. Harper Bros, New York.Google Scholar
  8. MACKWORTH, N.H. (1950): Researches on the Measurement of Human Performance. Med. Res. Coun. Spec. Rep. No. 268, London.Google Scholar
  9. MILLER, J.G. (1942): Unconsciousness. J. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  10. MYERS, C.S. (1937): Conceptions of mental fatigue. Amer. J. Psychol., 50: 296–306.Google Scholar
  11. PAULI, R. and ARNOLD, W. (1951): Der Pauli-Test. Seine sachgemässe Durchführung und Auswertung. J.A. Barth, München.Google Scholar
  12. PEPLER, R.D. (1956): Environmental warmth and performance. Ph.D. Thesis, Cambridge University.Google Scholar
  13. PEPLER, R.D. (1958): Warmth and performance. An investigation in the Tropics. Ergonomics, 2: 63–88.Google Scholar
  14. PEPLER, R.D. (1963): Performance and well being in heat. In: Temperature, its Measurement and Control in Science and Industry, Vol. 3. C. M. Herzfeld (ed.). Reinhold, New York, 319–336.Google Scholar
  15. PEPLER, R.D. (1964): Psychological effects of heat. In: Heat Stress and Heat Disorders. C.S. Leithead and A.R. Lind (ed.), Cassell, London, 237–253.Google Scholar
  16. REUNING, H. (1957): The Pauli Test: New findings from factor analysis. J. Nat. Inst. Personnel Res. (South Africa), 7: 3–27.Google Scholar
  17. SEYMOUR, A.H. (1936): The effects of different conditions of temperature and ventilation on the mental output and mental fatigue of school children. Ph.D. Thesis, University of London.Google Scholar
  18. SPEARITT, D. (1961): A factorial analysis of listening comprehension. Doctor of Education Thesis, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  19. STODDARD, C.D. (1949): The Meaning of Intelligence. MacMillan, New York.Google Scholar
  20. TEICHNER, W.H. and WEHRKAMP, P.F. (1954): Visual motor performance as a function of short duration ambient temperature. J. exp. Psychol., 47: 447–450.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. WATKINS, E.S. (1956): The effect of heat on psychomotor efficiency with particular reference to tropical man. M.D.Thesis, University of Liverpool.Google Scholar
  22. WEBB, C.G. (1959): An analysis of some observations of thermal comfort in an equatorial climate. Brit. J. industr. Med., 16: 297–310.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. WITTENBORN, J.R. (1943): Factorial equations for tests of attention. Psychometrika, 8: 19–35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Swets & Zeitlinger B.V. 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Auliciems
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations