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The Human Penguin Project: Climate, Social Integration, and Core Body Temperature

IJzerman, Hans
Lindenberg, Siegwart
Dalğar, İlker
Weissgerber, Sophia S. C.
Vergara, Rodrigo C.
Cairo, Athena H.
Colic, Marija
Frankowska, Natalia
Hadi, Rhonda
Hall, Calvin J.
Hong, Youngki
Hu, Chuan-Peng
Joy-Gaba, Jennifer
Lazarevic, Dusanka
Lazarevic, Ljiljana B.
Parzuchowski, Michal
Ratner, Kyle G.
Rothman, David
Sim, Samantha
Simao, Claudia
Song, Mengdi
Stojilovic, Darko
Blomster, Johanna K.
Brito, Rodrigo
Hennecke, Marie
Jaume-Guazzini, Francisco
Schubert, Thomas W.
Schuetz, Astrid
Seibt, Beate
Zickfeld, Janis H.
Social thermoregulation theory posits that modern human relationships are pleisiomorphically organized around body temperature regulation. In two studies (N = 1755) designed to test the principles from this theory, we used supervised machine learning to identify social and non-social factors that relate to core body temperature. This data-driven analysis found that complex social integration (CSI), defined as the number of high-contact roles one engages in, is a critical predictor of core body temperature. We further used a cross-validation approach to show that colder climates relate to higher levels of CSI, which in turn relates to higher CBT (when climates get colder). These results suggest that despite modern affordances for regulating body temperature, people still rely on social warmth to buffer their bodies against the cold.