Health & FitnessWhy being grumpy isn’t always a bad thing

Why being grumpy isn’t always a bad thing

How strange is it that when you’re angry, grumpy or riled up you’re more likely to be more detail oriented. So maybe that’s the best time to proofread a sensitive document or go through an important email that you need to send off.

According to studies from the University of Arizona, when we are in a bad mood we actually tend to identify written inconsistencies better.

Assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, Vicky Lai said that the research team was originally trying to find out how people’s brains react to language when they are happy as opposed to being in a bad mood.

Good to be grumpy?

“Mood and language seem to be supported by different brain networks. But we have one brain and the two are processed in the same brain, so there is a lot of interaction going on. We show that when people are in a negative mood, they are more careful and analytical. They scrutinize what’s actually stated in a text, and they don’t just fall back on their default world knowledge.”

The study showed that when subjects were in a bad mood, they displayed a variety of brain activity closely related with re-analysis. “We show that mood matters, and perhaps when we do some tasks we should pay attention to our mood. If we’re in a bad mood, maybe we should do things that are more detail-oriented, such a proofreading.”

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“When thinking about how mood affects them, many people just consider things like being grumpy, eating more ice cream or – at best – interpreting somebody else’s talk in a biased way. But there’s so much more going on, also in unexpected corners of our minds. That’s really interesting. Imagine your laptop being more or less precise as a function of its battery level – that’s unthinkable. But in human information processing, and presumably also in (information processing) of related species, something like that seems to be going on.”

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