Here’s something counter-intuitive. Bad moods can actually be good for you. An Australian study finds that being sad makes people less gullible, improves their ability to judge others and also boosts memory.
The research, out of the University of New South Wales, showed that people in a negative mood thought things through more carefully and paid more attention to their surroundings than happier people, who were more likely to believe anything they were told.
Researchers asked happy and sad participants to judge the truth of urban myths and rumours and found that people in a negative mood were less likely to believe these statements.
People in a bad mood were also less likely to make snap decisions based on racial or religious prejudices, and they were less likely to make mistakes when asked to recall an event that they witnessed.
The study authors are not telling us it’s better to be grumpy. They say good moods promote creativity, flexibility, cooperation, and reliance on mental shortcuts.