Planning to hitchhike? Pick a sunny day for a better chance of catching a ride.

By Seriously Science | April 8, 2014 6:00 am
Photo: flickr/Danwithnoname

Photo: flickr/Danwithnoname

Nicolas Guéguen, a regular on this blog, is at it again. So far, he has shown us that hitchhiking success is affected by such diverse variables as a woman’s bust size, how much makeup she’s wearing, and the color of her hair. This time, he tested the effect on the weather on the number of rides offered to four 20-year-old “confederates.” Turns out that sunny weather is more conducive to hitchhiking because it puts drivers in a better mood. Still, we think a bit of lipstick and a blonde wig probably wouldn’t hurt.

Hitchhiking and the ‘sunshine driver’: further effects of weather conditions on helping behavior’.

“Previous studies have shown that pleasant weather conditions can improve people’s mood and facilitate positive social relationships. The current study tested the effect of sunshine on drivers’ willingness to give hitchhikers a ride. Four confederates (2 men, 2 women; M age = 20 yr.) acted as hitchhikers on the roadside in France, on sunny and cloudy days. To minimize the influence of other important variables, hitchhiking was conducted only when it was not raining and only when the external temperatures were between 20 degrees and 24 degrees C. Motorists’ behavior in 2,864 hitchhiking events was analyzed. The results showed that both male and female drivers stopped more on sunny days than on cloudy days for both male and female hitchhikers. Perhaps the positive mood induced by the sunshine promotes helping behaviors.”

Related content:
NCBI ROFL: Bust size and hitchhiking: a field study
NCBI ROFL: Gentlemen prefer blonde hitchhikers.
NCBI ROFL: Women’s bust size and men’s courtship solicitation.


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Seriously, Science?, formerly known as NCBI ROFL, is the brainchild of two prone-to-distraction biologists. We highlight the funniest, oddest, and just plain craziest research from the PubMed research database and beyond. Because nobody said serious science couldn't be silly!
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