Monday, 13 Apr, 2009 Science

Bad Mood Leads to Improved Ability to Remember Things


According to Australian researchers, when people are in a bad mood, they have a better recall compared to the times when they enjoy bright sunny days.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales teamed up with a Sydney news agency in order to carry out a test to see whether people's moods can influence their ability to keep in mind small details.

After placing ten items on the shop counter, researchers asked shoppers to say what they managed to notice upon their exit. Some of the items included: toy cannon, red bus and a piggy bank.

The lead-researcher of the study, Joseph Forgas, outlined that people managed to remember 3 times as many items when outside was a cold, windy, rainy weather and a somber classical music was playing compared to the days when the weather was sunny and it was bright outside.

In addition, the researcher mentioned that shoppers who were in a bad mood were less likely to have false memories of items that were not there.

"We predicted and found that weather-induced negative mood improved memory accuracy. Shoppers in a negative mood showed better memory and higher discrimination ability," wrote Forgas in his study. The research and its results were published in the "Journal of Experimental Social Psychology".

In conclusion Forgas said that happiness tended to lower focus and raise confidence and forgetfulness, while a bad mood tended to increase people's attention and led to more systematic and careful thinking style.

"This finding suggests that some allowance for such mood effects could be incorporated in applied domains such as legal, forensic, counseling and clinical practice," Powered by

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