Lack of sunshine doesn't make people feel more depressed, study claims

‘No such thing as the winter blues’: Lack of sunshine does NOT make people feel more depressed, new study claims

  • A Dutch study of 5,282 people found a lack of sunlight doesn’t influence moods
  • However, participants high in neuroticism were affected by the lack of sunlight
  • Neuroticism is a personality trait that makes people more likely to be moody

New research suggests that a lack of exposure to sunlight does not cause a person to feel more depressed.

A Dutch study, involving 5,282, people found that those participants who already have a tendency to experience negative emotions were the only ones to be affected by the change in sunlight.

The other participants who do not have high neuroticism were almost completely unaffected by the end of the summer sun, The Times reports. 

A new Dutch study claims that a lack of sunlight does not influence a person’s mood (stock image)

Neuroticism is one of the big five high-order personality traits in the study of psychology.

Those who score highly on neuroticism are more likely to be moody and experience anxiety.

Wim Winthorst, from the University of Groningen, is one of the authors of the study.

He said he was only able to speculate why those participants high in neuroticim provided an exception to the findings.

He said that these people ‘might have the tendency to attribute their negative moods to factors beyond their individual control’.

Winthorst also suggested that the winter might act as a stressor for these select participants which causes an increase in depression-related symptoms. 

In psychology, stressors can be events or environments which certain individuals might find challenging or threatening to their personal safety.

Speaking to Plos One the researchers said that their findings did not support the belief that seasons can influence moods. 

The only people whose mood was affected by a lack of sunlight were those who scored highly in neuroticism – a personality trait that can make a person moody or experience despression-like symptoms (stock image)

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