The Effects of Thermal Sensation and Acclimatisation on Cognitive Performance of Adult Female Students in Saudi Arabia Using Multivariable - Multilevel Statistical Modelling

Riham Ahmed*, Marcella Ucci, Dejan Mumovic, Emmanouil Bagkeris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the hot climate of Saudi Arabia, people living year-round in air-conditioned spaces are likely to develop high expectations for homogeneity and cool temperatures, becoming potentially more sensitive if thermal conditions deviate from the comfort zone they expect. This paper presents the results from a field intervention investigating the association between participants’ thermal sensations with cognitive performance in a female university in Saudi Arabia. The climatic context plays a key role in choosing Saudi Arabia, whereas the total reliance on air-conditioners (AC) for cooling is believed to have significant effects on occupants’ perceptions of the comfort temperature. Results reveal discrepancies in the actual thermal sensations between the Saudi and non-Saudi participants which affected their performances. “Cool” and “Slightly Cool” sensations versus neutral were associated with significant lower percentage of errors and significant higher speed for all participants independently of any association with ethnicity and acclimatization. The estimates remained significant even after adjusting for ethnicity and the number of years spent in the country and the set temperature of AC at home. Implications of the study suggest a preference for staying cool when working independently of acclimatization status.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13005
JournalIndoor Air
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online date21 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • ORIGINAL ARTICLE
  • ORIGINAL ARTICLES
  • acclimatization
  • air‐conditioned buildings
  • cognitive performance
  • educational buildings
  • hot climates
  • thermal sensations

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