Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Be unhappy! Be miserable! Be smart!

Feeling grumpy 'is good for you'


In a bad mood? Don't worry - according to research, it's good for you.

An Australian psychology expert who has been studying emotions has found being grumpy makes us think more clearly.

In contrast to those annoying happy types, miserable people are better at decision-making and less gullible, his experiments showed.

While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine.

'Eeyore days'

The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain "promotes information processing strategies".

He asked volunteers to watch different films and dwell on positive or negative events in their life, designed to put them in either a good or bad mood.

Next he asked them to take part in a series of tasks, including judging the truth of urban myths and providing eyewitness accounts of events.

Those in a bad mood outperformed those who were jolly - they made fewer mistakes and were better communicators.

Professor Forgas said: "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."

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".

His earlier work shows the weather has a similar impact on us - wet, dreary days sharpened memory, while bright sunny spells make people forgetful.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (snip) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With the authority granted by this article i think I can toss the 6 hats into 2 piles: those that fall on the bad mood pile, and them that fall on the good feelin' pile.


/ yellow green white

Or one could say that the rainbow of hats describes the diverse types of thinking that occur during our non-stop emotional swinging between feeling really bad and really good.

(>.<) BLACK RED BLUE white green yellow (^_^)

As a tool for catching ourselves red-hatted when we've actually been blue-hatted, 6 hats might be a corrective tool, a recalibration tool. But I think to use 6 hats effectively we must put also put on the emotions that come with those hats. That is to say, to really feel the black, to really feel the yellow, we must pull on that hat so hard it busts over our head and then we can emerge transformed at the other side of the rim...is very exhausting, emotionally draining, impractical, and maybe dangerous to our health (and others)! However to swap in and out of the hats without feeling is merely an intellectual game. Which is fine and thoroughly enjoyable. This is the toy version of 6 hats that does not need to be kept out of the reach of children or the criminally insane. But the rabbits that we want to pull out of these hats should be alive and kicking, not stuffed and tagged.

I had a lot of miserable fun writing this!


  1. Thanks, trying to read this very small type made me very unhappy, so I stopped.

  2. You must be the happy type. Can't think clearly, you can magnify your text in your browser you know.