Ambient temperature and the occurrence of collective violence: A new analysis

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Abstract

Prevalent folklore suggests that riots tend to occur during periods of very hot weather. R. A. Baron and V. M. Ransberger (see record 1979–05912–001) examined 102 major riots in the US between 1967 and 1971 and concluded that the frequency of collective violence and ambient temperature are curvilinearly related. The present article argues that the Baron and Ransberger analysis did not take account of the different number of days in different temperature ranges. The artifact was eliminated in the present study, and the probability of a riot, conditional upon temperature, was estimated. Evidence suggests that the conditional probability of a riot increases monotonically with temperature. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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