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Positive mood boosts creativity

Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking.

Positive mood boosts creativity

People who are seeking creative inspiration should try to look on the bright side. People who watch funny videos on the internet at work aren't necessarily wasting time. They may be taking advantage of the latest psychological science - putting themselves in a good mood so they can think more creatively.

Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking. To check if a happy mood actually enhances creativity, Canadian researchers looked at a particular kind of learning that is improved by creative thinking.

Participants in the study were put into different moods and then to classify sets of pictures with visually complex patterns. The researchers manipulated mood with help from music clips and video clips; first, they tried several out to find out what made people happiest and saddest. Then they used these in the experiment, along with sad music and video and a piece of music and a video that didn't affect mood. After listening to the music and watching the video, people had to try to learn to recognise a pattern.

People in a happy mood were better able to learn a rule to classify the patterns than those with sad or neutral moods. The happy music used in the study was a lively Mozart piece, while the happy video featured a laughing baby. The sad music was from the movie Schindler's List, and the sad video was from a news report about an earthquake.

If you have a project where you want to think innovatively, or you have a problem to carefully consider, being in a positive mood can help you to do that, recommended the researchers. They also felt that people like to watch funny videos at work as they are unconsciously trying to put themselves in a positive mood - so that apparent time-wasting may actually be good news for employers.

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