24 Nov Happiness and speedy thoughts
Quick, check out this from boston.com…and do it fast!
QUICK, READ THIS paragraph out loud as fast as you can! Feel better? You should, if a team of Princeton and Harvard psychologists is right. Motivated by the observation that euphoria is often accompanied by “racing thoughts” among manic individuals, the psychologists conducted a series of experiments – including one that had people narrate the famous “Job Switching” episode of “I Love Lucy,” at fast or slow playback speeds – to test whether being forced to think faster results in a more positive mood. Not only was thinking faster significantly associated with positive mood, but there was some evidence that thinking faster inflated self-esteem and made it harder for people to stop talking. Other research by the authors even found that thinking fast about ostensibly depressing things can improve mood too. The authors conclude that “experiences that can succeed in making us think fast may have desirable consequences for affect (and, perhaps, for energy and self-confidence). In a world where we often could use an extra boost to our mood, simple manipulations of thought speed may have valuable practical importance.”
Pronin, E. et al., “Psychological Effects of Thought Acceleration,” Emotion (October 2008).