Exploring outdoor thermal perception—a revised model

Sanda Lenzholzer*, Sjerp de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims at extending earlier models of outdoor thermal perception by fusing new knowledge from recent literature and deriving perspectives for future research and methods from the new model. Previous models focused on physical and physiological aspects. Only recently, the psychological aspects of thermal perception received more attention, such as spatial perception. Furthermore, in recent literature on thermal perception, two time scales have been described: the short-term and the long-term thermal perception. Based on this new literature, we develop a conceptual, more comprehensive model that takes these factors into account as well. It hypothesizes how thermal sensation and psychological processes interact on the two time scales. However, to be able to describe relationships between psychological aspects of thermal perception more precisely, more research is required on the following issues: (1) influence of momentary personal references and preferences (e.g., mood), (2) influence of long-term personal references and preferences (e.g., cultural aspects, habituation), and (3) influence of the perception of the spatial environment on thermal perception. Moreover, the relation between momentary and long-term thermal perception has not been studied yet. We conclude this paper with an outlook on possible methods to study these factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Conceptual model
  • Environmental psychology
  • Literature review
  • Research agenda
  • Thermal comfort

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