ArticlePDF Available

Don’t Worry, Be Sad! On the Cognitive, Motivational, and Interpersonal Benefits of Negative Mood

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

This article reviews recent evidence for the benefits of negative affect for thinking and behavior, consistent with evolutionary theories suggesting an adaptive function for all affective states. Numerous experiments demonstrate that negative affect can improve memory performance, reduce judgmental errors, improve motivation, and result in more effective interpersonal strategies. These findings are interpreted in terms of dual-process theories that predict that positive affect promotes more assimilative, internally focused processing styles, whereas negative affect promotes a more accommodative and externally focused thinking strategy. The theoretical relevance of these findings for recent affect-cognition models is discussed, and the practical implications of recognizing the adaptive benefits of negative affect for social thinking and performance in a number of applied fields are considered.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... The negative and positive psychology debate has scarcely been combined until now. Forgas (2013) was among the few who witnessed the strengths of negative psychology. Some scholars have also brought the dark side of positivity into the discussion. ...
... The emotional consequences of that stimulus become less intense with repeated exposure to it. Negative affectivity has a few interpersonal advantages, and research subjects may become more courteous and attentive toward others (Forgas, 2013). Negative affectivity is a subconscious signal of a problematic social climate and can increase social norms (Altan-Atalay & Zeytun, 2020; Watson & Clark, 1984). ...
... Negative affect's adaptive functions could benefit both applied and healthcare practitioners. Mood effects arise with a discreet approach in real-life environments (Forgas, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Happiness, well-being, human freedom, and life events are interconnected. Nevertheless, the debate about human well-being struggles to find an exact definition. Literature debates on the importance of positive psychology or adverse effects of negative psychology in the well-being context discuss separately. However, both counter each other but have their significance and indisputable fact. Human psychology evolves around determinism and Free Will. One type of determinism is hard, while the other is soft. Individuals who are adamant about and embrace acceptance of chances are driven by their nature and psychology to choose negative behaviors under hard determinism. They give up their free will, whereas soft determinists use it to make choices and behave positively. However, the researchers looked at negative psychology as a useful aspect and positive psychology's dark side. We argued that there are reasons to suppose that chances can develop into options and vice versa. From a well-being perspective, negative and positive psychological strengths and weaknesses can be investigated. From the literature review, useful hypotheses for future research have been derived from our synthesis.
... D'autres études ont mis en évidence un effet similaire concernant des processus analytiques chez l'adulte (e.g., Clore et al., 1994 ;Weary & Jacobsen, 1997 (Forgas, 2013 ;Forgas & East, 2008 ;Koch, Forgas, & Matovic, 2013). Cela serait lié au fait que les émotions désagréables favoriseraient un traitement « accomodant » de la situation 3 favorisant une plus grande attention aux caractéristiques du message (Matovic et al., 2014). ...
... Chez l'enfant, des résultats similaires ont été mis en évidence (e.g., Emerson, Mollet, & Harrison, 2005 ;Günther, Holtkamp, Jolles, Herpertz-Dahlmann, & Konrad, 2004 ;Howe, 2007 De plus, un certain nombre de chercheurs s'est intéressé à l'impact d'états émotionnels chroniques tels que la dépression ou l'anxiété sur le fonctionnement cognitif des enfants (Hadwin et al., 2005 ;Toren et al., 2000). Leurs résultats montrent L'accomodation est un concept lié au modèle d'assimilation et d'accomodation (pour une revue, voir 3 aussi Forgas, 2013 ;Forgas & Eich, 2013). L'assimilation est le fait d'imposer des structures intériorisées au monde extérieur, tandis que l'accommodation est le fait de modifier les structures internes en fonction de contraintes extérieures (Forgas & Koch, 2013) que, comme chez l'adulte, les symptômes dépressifs ou anxieux impactent la perception que l'enfant a de son environnement, modifiant de fait le traitement de l'information. ...
... Discussion et conclusion de l'étude 5. Isen, 2008 Étude 5 : Effet de la congruence entre l'induction émotionnelle et les cibles à détecter sur l'attention sélective -Étude intra-sujetmotivation, facilitant ainsi l'orientation endogène de l'attention vers la tâche (Schwarz, 1990). Toutefois, elles entraîneraient également une utilisation préférentielle des connaissances pré-stockées en mémoire (Forgas, 2013). Or, la réalisation d'une tâche de barrage nécessite que le sujet soit attentif aux détails des items. ...
Thesis
De par le lien étroit qu’elles entretiennent avec la cognition, les émotions influencent nos comportements, nos perceptions ainsi que nos performances lorsqu’il s’agit d’apprendre. Si l’existence de ce lien semble faire consensus au sein de la communauté scientifique, la nature de celui-ci fait aujourd’hui encore débat. Ainsi, pour certains, les émotions seraient une entrave aux fonctions cognitives (e.g., Hadwin, Brogan, & Stevenson, 2005). Selon le RAM (Ellis & Moore, 1999), toutes émotions mobiliseraient une partie des ressources attentionnelles au détriment de la tâche à réaliser. Cependant, à l’inverse, d’autres études font état d’un effet facilitateur des émotions (e.g., Burkitt & Barnett, 2006). Cette apparente opposition pourrait être liée à l’interaction entre l’émotion induite et l’état initial des participants. Selon le modèle de la congruence émotionnelle (Bower, 1981), une information véhiculant une émotion de même nature que celle ressentie par l’individu (congruence) serait plus rapidement traitée qu’une information véhiculant une émotion non similaire (incongruence). Or, rares sont les études prenant en considération l’état des participants avant la tâche. De plus, un grand nombre de travaux étudie l’effet des émotions sur des processus cognitifs de haut niveau. Cependant, ceux-ci sont sous-tendus par l’activation de différents processus tels que l’attention qui est impliquée dans toutes tâches d’apprentissage. Il est possible, d’une part, que les émotions n’aient pas le même effet sur l’ensemble des processus cognitifs et d’autre part, que cet effet soit variable au cours du développement de l’individu. A l’heure actuelle, peu de travaux ont été conduits chez l’enfant et encore moins en milieu scolaire. Aussi, ce travail de thèse a pour objectif d’étudier l’influence des émotions sur les processus de focalisation et d’orientation de l’attention sélective chez l’enfant d’école maternelle et primaire. Pour ce faire, cinq études expérimentales ont été réalisées.
... This view is also consistent with recent research that suggests that people in a negative mood have better memory accuracy (Simpson and Sheldon, 2020), reduce stereotypes (Hall et al., 2019), and are likely to increase fairness and produce a variety of interpersonal benefits (Matovic and Forgas, 2018;Forgas and Matovic, 2020). Based on the above theories (Raeva et al., 2010;Tan and Forgas, 2010;Forgas, 2013), we postulate that experienced regret would increase fairness in the dictator game. ...
... However, we provide empirical evidence that, in contrast to experienced relief, experienced regret is a "good" emotion that promotes fair interpersonal strategies. These facts are consistent with recent research that reports the benefits of negative emotions such as regret on cognitive, motivational, and interpersonal relationships (Forgas, 2013;Matovic et al., 2014;Spachtholz et al., 2014;Lench et al., 2016;Nawijn and Biran, 2019). The overall results of the experiment support the following findings (Kovarik, 2009;Ogawa and Ida, 2015): the generosity of the participants decreases as the time delay rises. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores how experienced regret and relief evoked in a risky gambling task influence subsequent intertemporal pro-social behavior. We apply a dictator game experiment with delayed rewards to investigate the effect on donating behavior by simultaneously the time delay when the recipient accepts the donation and the emotions experienced by the participant. We examine this effect using a choice titration procedure. The results reveal that independent of the prior experienced emotions, participants’ donations decrease as the time delay rises; the hyperbolic model provides a better explanation of this finding. Significantly, experienced regret impacts the shape of the social discount function with delayed rewards, which is reflected in notably different discount rates. Participants who experienced regret exhibit a lower discount rate than those in the relief condition. Note that this distinct type of generosity differs significantly at the 14-day delay but not at the shortest and longest. It follows that regret can promote future altruism and intertemporal pro-social behavior, depending on the delay.
... As emoções são a base da interação do ser humano com o ambiente e exercem um papel crucial na saúde física e mental de uma pessoa (Ekman, 2011). São os estados emocionais que influenciam o processamento das informações recebidas do meio e, consequentemente, as reações e comportamentos do indivíduo em determinado contexto (Diener, Pressman, Hunter, & Delgadillo-Chase, 2017;Forgas, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Introdução: Dentre as inúmeras possibilidades que um indivíduo possui de experienciar e expressar a raiva ou a ira, não é raro que o sentimento fuja do controle e termine em hostilidade e agressões, podendo gerar consequências importantes na vida de uma pessoa e de outros ao seu redor. Diante disso, torna-se fundamental a aplicação de técnicas comprovadamente eficazes, objetivando uma maior qualidade de vida ao indivíduo e às pessoas que com ele convivem. Objetivos: Identificar as principais técnicas no manejo da raiva em adultos. Método: Revisão sistemática de artigos científicos de estudos clínicos. Resultados: Nove estudos clínicos randomizados com utilização de técnicas psicológicas para o manejo da ira foram utilizados na análise. A Terapia Cognitivo-Comportamental mostrou-se predominante nas intervenções analisadas e provou-se eficaz para o controle da ira. Conclusão: Técnicas cognitivo-comportamentais, em especial a psicoeducação e a reestruturação cognitiva, são as ferramentas mais frequentemente usadas para o manejo da raiva em distintos grupos clínicos de pacientes, com resultados positivos na regulação emocional.
... Pierwsze podejście cieszy się dużym zainteresowaniem badaczy, szczególnie od czasu publikacji przez Tversky'ego i Kahnemana [1973,1974] prac związanych z wpływem heurystyk i tendencji na osądy i podejmowanie decyzji. W ostatnich latach rozwija się również kierunek badań próbujący jednak "odczarować" niekorzystny wpływ emocji czy nastrojów bądź ukazać, że negatywne stany afektywne mogą również przynieść korzyści [Forgas, 2017a[Forgas, , 2017b[Forgas, , 2013. Natomiast ostatnie podejście próbuje pogodzić dwa przeciwstawne kierunki badań nad rolą emocji i nastrojów w procesie podejmowania decyzji. ...
Book
Full-text available
The quality of reporting information, which is the basic level of assessment of an accounting product communicating the situation of an economic entity (due to its creation by people), may not only be the result of rational decision-making processes but may also be subject to other influences. Moods, motivation or stress may weaken the reliability of an accounting product due to their impact at every stage of generating reporting information: when developing an accounting policy, when performing daily financial accounting activities or when working on closing the financial year. Therefore, the goals of this monograph are: (1) presentation of the state of scientific reflection on mood, motivation and stress as determinants of generating reporting information, (2) a diagnosis of accountants' opinions on the impact of these conditions on the activities related to the preparation of financial statements carried out by themselves and other representatives of the accounting community, based on the results of the authors' own research. For the purposes of this book, the creation of reporting information is understood as the process of preparing financial statements based on the provisions of the accounting law, including in particular activities related to the balance sheet valuation (bringing the book values to the values presented in the financial statements). This study is the second part presenting the results of the research conducted by the authors. Part one, entitled Cognitive and social determinants of decision-making in the field of creating reporting information, was published in 2021. Both are based on an extraordinary research approach expressed in looking at accountants as a human link in the accounting system, which is an important determinant of the quality of reporting information. Jakość informacji sprawozdawczej, stanowiąca podstawową płaszczyznę oceny produktu rachunkowości komunikującego sytuację jednostki gospodarczej (z racji tworzenia jej przez ludzi), może być nie tylko rezultatem racjonalnych procesów podejmowania decyzji, ale to może również podlegać innym wpływom. Nastroje, motywacja czy stres mogą osłabiać rzetelność produktu rachunkowości z racji ich oddziaływania na każdym etapie tworzenia informacji sprawozdawczej: przy opracowywaniu polityki rachunkowości, w trakcie wykonywania codziennych czynności w ramach rachunkowości finansowej lub przy pracach nad zamknięciem roku obrotowego. Celami niniejszej monografii są zatem: (1) prezentacja stanu refleksji naukowej dotyczącej nastroju, motywacji i stresu jako determinant tworzenia informacji sprawozdawczej, (2) oparta na wynikach badań autorek diagnoza opinii księgowych na temat wpływu tych uwarunkowań na prowadzone przez siebie oraz innych przedstawicieli środowiska księgowych czynności związane z przygotowaniem sprawozdań finansowych. Na potrzeby niniejszej książki przez tworzenie informacji sprawozdawczej rozumie się oparty na przepisach prawa o rachunkowości proces przygotowywania sprawozdań finansowych , w tym w szczególności czynności dotyczące wyceny bilansowej (urealniania wartości księgowych do wartości prezentowanych w sprawozdaniu finansowym). Niniejsze opracowanie stanowi drugą część prezentującą wyniki badań prowadzonych przez autorki. Część pierwsza, pt. Kognitywne i społeczne uwarunkowania podejmowania decyzji z zakresu tworzenia informacji sprawozdawczej, została wydana w 2021 roku. Obie opierają się na nietuzinkowym podejściu badawczym wyrażającym się w spojrzeniu na księgowych jako na ludzkie ogniwo systemu rachunkowości, które stanowi ważną determinantę jakości informacji sprawozdawczej.
... A nyugalomra és optimizmusra vonatkozó ajánlatok, amelyek abban a pillanatban pozitívak és kellemesek lehetnek, elaltatják a veszélyérzetet, és könnyen betegséghez vezethetnek. Következésképpen a negatív érzelmeknek is lehetnek pozitív hozadékai, és fordítva (lásd Forgas, 2013). ...
Article
Misinformation is a serious concern for societies across the globe. To design effective interventions to combat the belief in and spread of misinformation, we must understand which psychological processes influence susceptibility to misinformation. This paper tests the widely assumed - but largely untested - claim that emotionally provocative headlines are associated with worse ability to identify true versus false headlines. Consistent with this proposal, we found correlational evidence that overall emotional response at the headline level is associated with diminished truth discernment, except for experienced anger which was associated with increased truth discernment. The second set of studies tested a popular emotion regulation intervention where people were asked to apply either emotional suppression or emotion reappraisal techniques when considering the veracity of several headlines. In contrast to the correlation results, we found no evidence that emotion regulation helped people distinguish false from true news headlines.
Article
Research has shown that context influences how sincere a smile appears to observers. That said, most studies on this topic have focused exclusively on situational cues (e.g. smiling while at a party versus smiling during a job interview) and few have examined other elements of context. One important element concerns any knowledge an observer might have about the smiler as an individual (e.g. their habitual behaviours, traits or attitudes). In this manuscript, we present three experiments that explored the influence of such knowledge on ratings of smile sincerity. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants rated the sincerity of Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles after having been exposed to cues about the smiler's tendency to reciprocate (this person always, never or occasionally returns favours). In Experiment 3 they performed the same task but with cues about the smiler's love of learning (this person always, never or occasionally enjoys learning new tasks). The results show that cues about the smiler's reciprocity tendency influenced participants' ratings of smile sincerity and did so in a stronger manner than cues about the smiler's love of learning. Overall, these results both strengthen and broaden the literature on the role of context on judgements of smile sincerity.
Article
Full-text available
Psychotherapy
Article
Does temporary mood influence the occurrence of the fundamental attribution error (FAE)? Based on recent affect-cognition theorizing and research on attributions, 3 experiments predicted and found that negative moods decrease and positive moods increase the FAE, because of the information-processing consequences of these affective states. In Experiment 1, happy mood enhanced and sad mood reduced dispositional attributions based on coerced essays advocating unpopular opinions. Experiment 2 replicated this effect using an unobtrusive mood induction in a field study. Experiment 3 further confirmed these results and also showed that changes in the FAE were linked to mood-induced differences in processing style, as indicated by memory data and confirmed by mediational analyses. The results are discussed in terms of the cognitive processing strategies that mediate mood effects on attributions. The implications of the findings for everyday inferences and for contemporary theories of affect and cognition are considered.
Article
How does mood influence verbal communication, such as the use of requests? On the basis of the Affect Infusion Model (J. P. Forgas, 1995a), 3 experiments predicted and found that (a) negative moods increase and positive moods decrease request politeness and (b) they do so most in difficult situations that require more substantive processing. In Experiment 1, sad mood enhanced and happy mood reduced request politeness, especially in difficult situations. In Experiment 2, similar mood effects on the politeness and elaboration of self-generated requests were found. In Experiment 3, these findings were replicated in a variety of request situations by use of a different mood induction. Recall data confirmed that more substantive processing enhanced mood effects on requesting. The cognitive mechanisms mediating mood effects on requesting are discussed, and the implications of the results for interpersonal communication and for recent affect-cognition theories are considered.