Bruce Bower wrote about the cognitive benefits of a blue mood in “The bright side of sadness” (SN: 11/2/13, p. 18). A negative mood can increase recall, attention to detail and a sense of fairness to others, the article noted.
Bower’s story was the most read on the Science News website in October, with a spike of more than 94,000 views after being posted on the social news site reddit.com. Reddit reader DrMasterBlaster, self-described as a graduate student studying negative emotions, commented that “everyone assumes that negative affect [meaning bad feelings or emotions] is always bad, and that isn’t always the case.
Additionally, there’s this idea that to make a good decision we must be emotionless automatons, which is also not the case.
Emotions are just another source of information, so while we shouldn’t be ruled by affect, it can