International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 717–724 | Cite as

The influence of thermal discomfort on the attention index of teenagers: an experimental evaluation

  • Jordi MazonEmail author
Original Paper


In order to measure the effect on the attention of teenagers of thermal discomfort due to high temperature and humidity, two experiments were conducted in two different indoor conditions of temperature and humidity in non-air-conditioned classrooms. The participants were a heterogeneous group of 117 teenagers, aged 12 to 18 years, and the experiments reproduced the actual conditions of teaching in a classroom in the Mediterranean climate. In order to measure the attention index, a standard Toulouse-Pieron psychological test was performed on the 117 teenagers in these two conditions, and the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV), the physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET), the Standard effective Temperature (SET*) and the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) indices were calculated to estimate the grade of discomfort using the RayMan Pro model. Conditions of greater discomfort decreased the attention index in the whole group, especially in those aged 12–14, among whom the attention index dropped by around 45 % when compared to comfortable conditions. However, teenage attention at ages 17 and 18 shows little variation in discomfort in respect to thermally comfortable conditions. In addition, the attention index for boys and girls shows the same variation in discomfort conditions. However, girls have a slightly higher attention index than boys in discomfort and thermal comfort experiments.


Thermal discomfort Attention index Experimental evaluation Predicted mean vote Physiologically equivalent temperature Standard effective temperature Universal thermal climate index RayMan pro model 



The experiments were performed in the facilities of the high school Col legi Badalones. I am grateful to this school for the support and assistance they provided. My gratitude also goes out to the 117 volunteers, and especially to Cristina Alonso and Jose Antonio Segovia. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Matzarakis, who has provided me the RayMan Pro model and oriented me in some questions. Comments and suggestions from both referees have improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied PhysicsTechnical University of Catalonia (BarcelonaTech)Barcelona, CataloniaSpain

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