Why the temperature?

By: Megan Winkle

An investigation of body heat caused by stress


  • If the subjects being tested all are given the same challenging quiz then their body temperature will increase because their stress level was raised.


  • The purpose is to investigate whether stress alters body temperature and what effects it along the process.


Independent- test subjects

Dependent- body temperature

Control Group- none

Experimental Group- human test subjects

Constants- thermometer, quiz, time to take it


  • Printed quizes
  • Room temperature testing rooms
  • thermometer
  • stopwatch
  • notebook for analyzing


  1. Make quiz
  2. Ask questions before testing (stress level 1-10?)
  3. Take temperature
  4. Observe while testing
  5. Ask more questions (how did they feel about it? stress level 1-10?)
  6. Take temperature once again
  7. Record data


  • changes in hands and feet temperature are a reflection of blood flow and are a measure of stress response
  • warmer hands and feet indicate relaxation while colder reflect tension or activation
  • the amount of temperature change depends on the stress or problem and how you react to stress
  • not everyone reacts to stress through dramatic heat changes
  • you can also react differently by tensing muscles like your forehead, jaw, or shoulders
  • we all react differently, hand temperature is a simple and effective way to measure stress levels
  • normal body temperature should be around 98.6
  • the higher the beginning temp the less likely your temperature is to change dramatically
  • when people are stressed the claim to have bad anxiety but that is caused from nervous thoughts
  • sweating is a very common way to show stress, thats one of the main reasons that people have cold shivers after their hot flashes and struggle to warm up again
  • heat production is called thermogenesis
  • it’s shown that during stressful events brown adipose tissue can elevate body temperature through non-shivering thermogenesis


  • My hypothesis seemed mostly correct, I didn’t expect for some people’s temperature to drop while being stressed. The purpose was to see could being very stressed and frustrated affect your body temperature and it definitely did.
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Sources of Error

  • The temperature in the room often differed and that might have influenced my data. Also what the person was wearing could have made the information collected slightly off.


  • I could’ve improved by paying attention to more detail and I could’ve also tested their pulse to see how fast or slow it was. It could’ve helped me knowing the heart rate, maybe that would have opened more doors to my experiment.


  • My experiment relates to real life because stress if very common within adults and teenagers, and we seem to all have are reasons for it. Work and sports and any other activities cause stress because of the want to improve and the lack in effort. We can use my results in order to find ways to prevent the dramatic change of temperature. It’s important to know what I leaned because it answers questions on why they get heated up while doing homework or other things that call for knowledge.