Dim lighting helps people make better decisions, scientists claim

Researchers also found that sunny days make people more depressed by it heightening their emotions

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The Independent Online

Dim lighting is usually associated with relaxation, and winding down after work.

But scientists now claim that by harnessing the subduing effect on emotions caused by dim lights.

Therefore, by dimming the lights, people become more rational, negotiate better and are therefore able to make better decisions.

Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of management at University of Toronto Scarborough and Aparna Labroo of Northwestern University, made the findings by examining the link between lighting and human emotion, PsychCentral reported.

Participants in the study were asked to rate under different lighting settings subjects including the spiciness of chicken-wing sauce, how aggressive a fictional character was being, how attractive someone was and the taste of two juices.

All of their reactions were intensified in bright light, a phenomena which Professor Xu attributes to the body perceiving light as heat, which can trigger emotions.

"Bright light intensifies the initial emotional reaction we have to different kinds of stimulus including products and people," she said.

In fact, they found that bright light intensifies feelings so dramatically that people prone to depression “actually become more depressed” on sunny days, according to Professor Xu.

Professor Xu said: ‘Marketers may also adjust the lightening levels in the retail environment, according to the nature of the products on sale.

"‘If you are selling emotional expressive products such as flowers or engagement rings it would make sense to make the store as bright as possible," she said.