Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thinking Negatively Makes One Smarter?

Interesting study. The premise states that bad moods tend to make people less gullible as well as improve their ability to judge others.

""Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, cooperation, and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking paying greater attention to the external world," Forgas wrote.

"Our research suggests that sadness ... promotes information processing strategies best suited to dealing with more demanding situations."

For the study, Forgas and his team conducted several experiments that started with inducing happy or sad moods in their subjects through watching films and recalling positive or negative events.

In one of the experiments, happy and sad participants were asked to judge the truth of urban myths and rumors and found that people in a negative mood were less likely to believe these statements.

People in a bad mood were also less likely to make snap decisions based on racial or religious prejudices, and they were less likely to make mistakes when asked to recall an event that they witnessed.

The study also found that sad people were better at stating their case through written arguments, which Forgas said showed that a "mildly negative mood may actually promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style.""

Read more here.

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Anonymous said...

I do feel that I make better decisions when I'm not too 'happy' or positive, so I'd buy the premise here.

Dana said...

Finally, they're talking about me! :)

Becca said...

Too much positivity can't be helpful in the long run. Being skeptical does open the mind, I find.

Anonymous said...

This is really gripping! Everything in good measure, indeed.