Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Put On A Happy Face: It Helps You See The Big Picture

Date:
November 21, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
That photo of your smiling kids on the refrigerator door might do more than just make you feel good; you might make healthier food choices after looking at it. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that positive moods can increase our ability to understand the big picture.

That photo of your smiling kids on the refrigerator door might do more than just make you feel good; you might make healthier food choices after looking at it. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that positive moods can increase our ability to understand the big picture.

"A positive mood enhances efforts to attain future well-being, encourages broader and flexible thinking, and increases openness to information," write the study's authors Aparna A. Labroo (University of Chicago) and Vanessa M. Patrick (University of Georgia).

The researchers investigated the scientific basis for the simple practice of surrounding oneself with positive things. The first study presented identical statements to study participants. The statements in each set were preceded by either a smiley face or a frowny face."The results revealed that simply associating a smiley with a statement resulted in the statement being construed at a higher, more abstract level."

In follow-up studies, the authors induced positive and negative moods by asking participants to describe either the happiest or unhappiest days in their lives. They then filled out three different questionnaires to determine the level of abstract versus concrete thinking. All three questionnaires showed that people in a good mood thought more abstractly.

The authors explain that being in a good mood allows people to step back emotionally. "The research demonstrates that by signaling that a situation is benign, a positive mood allows people to psychologically distance themselves from the situation," the authors write.

"Those in a positive mood not only adopt higher-order future goals and work harder toward attaining them, but also reduce their efforts when goals are proximal or concrete," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Put On A Happy Face: It Helps You See The Big Picture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081117121229.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, November 21). Put On A Happy Face: It Helps You See The Big Picture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081117121229.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Put On A Happy Face: It Helps You See The Big Picture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081117121229.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins