Feeling Sad Makes Us More Creative

Now we all have an excuse for being miserable bastards at work…

There has to be some marketing company somewhere looking into how they can work this into their next product launch…

“Last year, Forgas ventured beyond the lab and began conducting studies in a small stationery store in suburban Sydney, Australia. Forgas placed a variety of trinkets, like toy soldiers, plastic animals and miniature cars, near the checkout counter. As shoppers exited, Forgas tested their memory, asking them to list as many of the items as possible. To control for the effect of mood, Forgas conducted the survey on gray, rainy days — he accentuated the weather by playing Verdi’s Requiem — and on sunny days, using a soundtrack of Gilbert and Sullivan. The results were clear: shoppers in the “low mood” condition remembered nearly four times as many of the trinkets. The wet weather made them sad, and their sadness made them more aware and attentive.”

Come to think of it I am usually misearable and depressed dealing with stressful deadlines and difficult clients during an ID project and then happy when the project is done like a guy being freed from prison.

I’m having a day like that today :frowning:

Great post Loafer. What I’d like to know is how this is an evolutionary advantage. Perhaps when one is not doing well sexually and gathering food, the greater attention they get from being sad sharpens their abilities to get back on track? Or is it a social impact?

I hear it’s because sadder/depressed/introverted people tend to think more and are more in touch with their brains and emotions. Maybe it’s the thinking that makes them depressed, people that are too happy must not be paying attention to what’s really going on :slight_smile:

I’ve always been rather suspicious of people who are always happy… it’s not natural.

It is interesting to read about these studies and then swing by the “Confessions of a 30 something designer” thread… it all makes sense to me now.

skinny: I always wish I was stupid, I’m sure I’d be more happy. Crap, I can’t watch a football game without analyzing my career, how bad the commercials are, family life, etc. I’m convinced that smart people, in any field, just can’t shut their brains down & are therefore driven crazy by all the problems in the world (see global warming, economic crisis, etc.)

Sure they can, it’s called beer.

Greenman: Very true. Whisky works faster though (just look at Sterling-Cooper).

I think the smartest people learn how to manage and direct their thoughts. Obviously with room for intuition, and curiosity, etc. I would say that a experiencing a healthy range of emotions is probably the best for creativity. Of course, this is all my anecdotal expertise. =)