Mood Disorder Specialists Englewood CO
Have trouble remembering things? Maybe you’re just too happy. A recent University of Virginia study found that sad people remembered words more accurately than those who are lovin’ life. The study tested 100 undergraduates who were exposed to two different mood-inducing classical music selections to evoke either happiness (Mozart) or sadness (Mahler).
Once their moods had been altered, the students were shown lists of words that they were then asked to recall. The researchers found that subjects who were feeling cheerier were more likely to lapse into “relational processing,” which means that as they listened they made associations with the words and thought about bigger issues rather than the specifics of the task. Consequently this group’s test scores were lower than their gloomier compatriots.
“A positive mood is more expansive, sees the larger picture and tends to make more associations,” says study author Justin Storbeck. “Sad people, on the other hand, tend to stick to the facts, pay attention to details, and use more item-specific processing.”
The study even puts a positive spin on sadness. “We used to think about negative emotions as being dysfunctional,” says Storbeck, “but sometimes they can be beneficial, depending on the task.”
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