A burst of happiness may impair children’s attention to detail
Happy children learn especially well, unless they have to focus on details rather than the big picture. That’s the implication of a new study in which school-age youngsters induced to feel happy lagged behind their sad- or neutral-feeling peers in finding shapes embedded within larger images.
This two-part investigation shows for the first time that an experimentally induced good mood undermines children’s ability to perform detail-oriented tasks, report psychologist Simone Schnall of the University of Plymouth in England and her colleagues online and in an upcoming Developmental Science.
Earlier studies had indic