Does a Bad Mood Make You a Good Person?

By Bernie Wong | September 30, 2011 | 2 comments

New research explores how altruism affects our mood and why we hold the door open for someone else.

Research Digest Icon

* This Greater Good section, Research Digests, offers short summaries of recent studies on happiness, empathy, compassion, and more. Quick to read, easy to digest—we review the research so you don’t have to! Subscribe to the Research Digests RSS feed to receive future digests.

 

Bad Mood, Good Deeds

"Doing Good, Feeling Good: Examining the Role of Organizational Citizenship Behaviors in Changing Mood"

Glomb, T.M., Bhave, D.P., Miner, A.G., & Wall, M. Personnel Psychology, February 2011, Vol. 64 (1), 191-223.

This study suggests that being in a bad mood might make you more altruistic—and being altruistic might make your mood improve. Every morning for three weeks, 68 employees at a technology company completed short surveys to measure their mood. Throughout the workday, they recorded whether they performed acts of altruism, courtesy, or other forms of kindness, then reported their mood again. The results show that employees who rated their moods negatively earlier in the day were more likely to perform altruistic acts later in the day—which, in turn was associated with a more positive mood. The researchers suggest that negative emotions may actually encourage social activity—in the form of altruism—in order to improve mood and divert attention away from negative thoughts. —Bernie Wong

Tags: , , , ,

Kindness Calculations

"Etiquette and Effort: Holding Doors for Others"

Santamaria, J. P. & Rosenbaum, D. A. Psychological Science, forthcoming 2011.

Why do we sometimes go out of our way to help another person? To answer this question, researchers in this study broached new scientific territory: the science of door entry etiquette. Yes, they actually observed 148 people in the act of holding a door open for another person. They identified two key factors behind door etiquette. First, the farther away the second person was, the less likely the first person was to hold the door open. And second, they found that people would perform this altruistic act if the total effort of both individuals was less than if they each individually opened the door themselves: When the first person held the door a bit longer and the second person walked at a faster pace, they reduced the time and effort needed to have the door open. The message that the researchers want to convey is that the everyday acts of kindness we frequently perform are driven by largely unconscious processes and calculations. —Bernie Wong

Tags: , ,

Tracker Pixel for Entry
 
 
 

interesting article ...
so helpful

Asala mp3 | 11:00 am, November 11, 2011 | Link

 

is it that makes some sexual ennetcuors “through the roof” and others just okay? Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.  Tags sex, sexual-desire,

Ali | 12:33 pm, June 14, 2012 | Link

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Most...

  
  

Greater Good Events

Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training
International House
December 9-10, 2016


Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training

This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Chris Germer.


» ALL EVENTS
 
 

Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!

» TAKE A QUIZ
 

Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.

Watch
 

Greater Good Resources

 
 
» MORE STUDIES
 
 
» MORE ORGS
 

Book of the Week

How Pleasure Works By Paul Bloom Bloom explores a broad range of human pleasures from food to sex to religion to music. Bloom argues that human pleasure is not purely an instinctive, superficial, sensory reaction; it has a hidden depth and complexity.

» READ MORE
 
Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

thnx advertisement