calm and collected.OB researchers continue to debate the role of negative emotions andmoods in decision making. One well-cited article suggested that depressedpeople (those who chronically experience bad moods or negative emotionssuch as sadness) make more accurate judgments than nondepressedpeople.109This suggestion led some researchers to argue that the saying“sadder but wiser” is true. However, more recent evidence has suggested thatpeople who are depressed make poorer decisions than happy people. Why?Because depressed people are slower at processing information and tend toweigh all possible options rather than the most likely ones.110Although itwould seem that weighing all possible options is a good thing, the problem isthat depressed people search for the perfect solution when rarely is any solu-tion perfect.Positive people, in contrast, know when a solution is good enough. Indeed,positive emotions seem to help decision making. Positive emotions can increaseproblem-solving skills and help us understand and analyze new information.For example, someone in a positive mood may be better able to infer that a sub-ordinate’s performance problems were due to some nonwork problems.111People in good moods or those experiencing positive emotions are more likelyto use heuristics, or rules of thumb,112to help them make good decisionsquickly. Sometimes, however, these heuristics can be wrong and can lead tostereotyping. So people need to make sure that their positive moods don’tcause them to rely on dangerous stereotypes, like women are less dedicated,Muslims are violent people, and so on.People use their heart as well as their head when making decisions.Therefore, failure to incorporate emotions and moods into the study of decisionmaking will result in an incomplete, and often inaccurate, view of the process.CreativityPeople who are in good moods are more creative than people in bad moods,say some researchers.113They produce more ideas, others think their ideasare original, and they tend to identify more creative options to problems.114It seems that people who are experiencing positive moods or emotions aremore flexible and open in their thinking, which may explain why they’remore creative.115Supervisors should actively try to keep employees happybecause this will create more good moods (employees like their leaders toencourage them and provide positive feedback on a job well done), which inturn leads people to be more creative.116Some researchers, however, do not believe that a positive mood makes peo-ple more creative. They argue that when people are in positive moods, they mayrelax (“if I’m in a good mood, things must be going OK, and I must not need tothink of new ideas”) and not engage in the critical thinking necessary for someforms of creativity.117However, this view is controversial.118Until there aremore studies on the subject, we can safely conclude that for many tasks, positivemoods increase our creativity.Motivation
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