Discover more from Hidden Brain
An upside to anger?
Plus, the relationship between our convictions and our problem-solving skills
“The objective facts of our lives are what they are, but the stories are…narrative acts, not historical acts.” —psychologist Jonathan Adler
Grrr. Anger can be an effective motivator, according to new research. In a series of studies, researchers gave people various challenging tasks, then measured how much anger fueled their efforts. For example, in one study, participants played video games. Before playing, researchers showed them visuals designed to elicit either a neutral response or an anger response. The people who were made to feel angry scored higher on the game. “The majority of people consider the pursuit of happiness a major life goal,” said study author Heather Lench. “Our research adds to the growing evidence that a mix of positive and negative emotions promotes well-being, and that using negative emotions as tools can be particularly effective in some situations.”
Weird flex, but okay. There’s a saying: if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. But there’s a downside to being too rigid about our beliefs. In a study published earlier this year, researchers looked at the link between social flexibility and cognitive flexibility. They wondered, does being inflexible in one area make us inflexible in others? To test this, they first measured people’s social attitudes and how rigidly they held those attitudes. From there, they had volunteers perform problem-solving tasks. People with rigid political and social views performed worse on those tasks. “We can see the reflection of people’s flexible thinking in a variety of applications,” said study author Carola Salvi. “We believe that people who are creative and good problem-solvers are also open-minded.”
Scram, scam! We like to think that con artists only prey upon the weak, or gullible. But all of us can fall victim to scams. Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
Healing 2.0: Change Your Story, Change Your Life: We all tell stories about ourselves, often without realizing we’re doing so. How we frame those stories can profoundly shape our lives. In the kickoff episode to our month-long series on healing, psychologist Jonathan Adler shares how to tell our stories in ways that enhance our wellbeing.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Laura Eshelman’s Story: Laura was in a mental health crisis when someone unexpected calmed her down.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM OUR LISTENERS
First, I threw away the outside and cooked the inside. Then I ate the outside and threw away the inside. What did I eat?
Want to share your favorite logic puzzle or riddle with us? Send an email to email@example.com
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
In 1990, a person is 15 years old. In 1995, that same person is 10 years old. How can this be?
The answer: The person was born in 2005 BC.
A MOMENT OF JOY
The real treat: babies in their Halloween costumes.