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Perhaps Dorothy Parker and H.L. Mencken were onto something. It may be no accident that some of the most incisive wits of literary history were curmudgeons. New research overseen by Professor Joe Forgas points to a connection between grumpy mental states and sharper analytical skills.
The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain "promotes information processing strategies".
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Those in a bad mood outperformed those who were jolly - they made fewer mistakes and were better communicators.
Professor Forgas said: "Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world."
I may, at some point, tire of saying this, but psychological research keeps disproving the "power of positive thought" espoused in vehicles like The Secret. To every emotional state, there is a season...