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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Miserable People Think More Clearly, Communicate More Well

An Australian researcher has determined that sad and grumpy moods promote clearer thinking and better communication skills, particularly in written form. Happy moods facilitate creativity.

Professor Joe Forgas, an expert in psychology, had subjects watch movies and ponder positive and negative events in their lives - both activities designed to put them in a positive or negative mood - then perform tasks such as evaluating the veracity of urban myths and providing eyewitness accounts of events. Those in bad, sad - negative - moods outperformed the jolly types.

Professor Forgas told Australian Science Magazine pleasant moods "promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts," while disgruntled dispositions "trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world [and] may actually promote a more concrete, accommodative and ultimately more successful communication style."

Forgas' earlier research indicated the same findings in relation to weather: gloomy days sharpened memory, while sunny days fostered, um... oh - forgetfulness.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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