Fall is just around the corner and despite the fact that summer is still dishing out its last gasps of heat, chances are you’re already dreaming about wooly scarves, UGG boots and PSL. If anyone happens to question your passion for pumpkins in August, you can explain it away with the scientific reason people love fall.

A 2013 study from YouGov found that America’s favorite season is fall, with 29 percent of Americans surveyed revealing that autumn is their top pick. So, what is it about fall that makes it so special for so many people, anyway?

photo: Alex Geerts via Unsplash

Kathryn Lively, a sociology professor at Dartmouth University explained to the Huffington Post that it’s something ingrained in us from childhood. “As children, we come to associate fall with going back to school, new school supplies, seeing friends. It’s exciting, for most. We still respond to this pattern that we experienced for 18 years,” she said.

Besides going back to school, fall is associated with a lot of special annual holidays, including Halloween and Thanksgiving. September is also the most popular month for births in the United States, which means plenty of people connect the start of fall with presents and birthday cake.

Lively explained that the sociological basis for loving fall has to do with the fact that we view it as a comforting time of year. Fans of the Scandinavian “hygge” movement, which associates happiness and well-being with a cozy lifestyle, might also argue this idea. After all, what’s more hygge than sipping a PSL while snuggling with your tots?

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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