Study: Grumpiness Sharpens Our Thinking

November 3, 2009

(ChattahBox)–An Australian psychologist has conducted a study showing that grumpy people tend to display more critical thinking skills and are more tuned in to the external world, compared to happier individuals. But people with elevated moods demonstrated greater creativity and flexibility in their thinking.

Professor Joe Forgas, a University of New South Wales researcher believes the brains of people in bad moods operate in a different way, and that grumpiness “promotes information processing strategies.”

Forgas conducted his research, by having volunteers view either happy or sad films to get the groups in the proper moods. He then put the groups through critical thinking various tasks.

The grumpy group outperformed the happy group. “Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world.”

How useful is this study? Well, the next time you have a task to complete that requires sharpened problem skills, such as an accounting project, or paying monthly bills, it may be beneficial to wait until you are thoroughly miserable.

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