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Mindful : February 2017
PERSPECTIVE 2 It improves your judgment People are more likely to make social misjudgments due to biases when they’re happy. But sad moods reduce common judgmental biases, such as attributing intentionality to others’ behavior while ignoring situational factors, and assuming that a person having some positive feature—such as a handsome face—is likely to have others, such as kindness or intelligence. 3 It’s motivating Happiness signals to us that we are in a safe, familiar situation, and that little effor t is needed to change anything. Sad- ness, on the other hand, operates like a mild alarm signal, triggering more effort and motivation to deal with a challenge. In other words, a sad mood can increase and happy mood can reduce per- severance with difficult tasks. 1 It can improve your memory On rainy, unpleas- ant days that pro- duce a blue mood, people have a much better recol- lection of details of objects. On bright, sunny days when people feel happy, their memory is far less accurate. It seems positive mood impairs, and negative mood improves attention and memory for incidental details in our environ- ment. 4 It might improve your interactions Sad people are more focused on external cues and don’t rely solely on their first impres- sions to formulate the most appro- priate communi- cation strategy in uncertain social circumstances. Happy people, on the other hand, are more inclined to trust their first impressions. 5 Ways Sadness Is Good for You By Joseph Fogras of the University of New South Wales. Adapted with permission. 5 It can make you nicer People in sad moods are more concerned with fairness, and after taking longer to decide, give significantly more to others than do happy people. This suggests that they pay greater at ten- tion to the needs of others and are more attentive and thoughtful in mak- ing their decisions. February 2017 mindful 47