The Human Penguin Project: Climate, social integration, and core body temperature

Hans IJzerman, Siegwart Lindenberg, İlker Dalğar, Sophia C. Weissgerber, Rodrigo C. Vergara, Athena H. Cairo, Marija V. Čolić, Pinar Dursun, Natalia Frankowska, Rhonda Hadi, Calvin J. Hall, Youngki Hong, Chuan Peng Hu, Jennifer Joy-Gaba, Dušanka Lazarević, Ljiljana B. Lazarević, Michal Parzuchowski, Kyle G. Ratner, David Rothman, Samantha SimCláudia Simão, Mengdi Song, Darko Stojilović, Johanna K. Blomster, Rodrigo Brito, Marie Hennecke, Francisco Jaume-Guazzin, Thomas W. Schubert, Astrid Schütz, Beate Seibt, Janis Zickfeld

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Social thermoregulation theory posits that modern human relationships are pleisiomorphically organized around body temperature regulation. In two studies (N = 1755) designed to test the principles from this theory, we used supervised machine learning to identify social and non-social factors that relate to core body temperature. This data-driven analysis found that complex social integration (CSI), defined as the number of high-contact roles one engages in, is a critical predictor of core body temperature. We further used a cross-validation approach to show that colder climates relate to higher levels of CSI, which in turn relates to higher CBT (when climates get colder). These results suggest that despite modern affordances for regulating body temperature, people still rely on social warmth to buffer their bodies against the cold.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Number of pages18
JournalCollabra: Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19-Oct-2018


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