Researchers have found that angry people perform better on complex tasks than those with neutral emotions.
This is stated in a study by Texas A&M University, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, writes The Guardian.
“The results show that anger increases effort to achieve a desired goal, which often leads to greater success.”said study author Dr. Heather Lench.
More than a thousand people took part in the experiment, and another 1.4 thousand took part in a survey about the impact of anger on people in various circumstances.
In one experiment, participants were shown images that evoked different emotions – anger, amusement, sadness, or no emotion at all.
And after that they were offered to solve anagrams – puzzles with rearranged letters in the word.
Those who were angry coped with the task faster than people in other emotional states. Although there was no difference when solving easy anagrams.
The researchers say one explanation may be a link between anger and greater persistence, with the team finding that those who were angry spent more time on a complex set of anagrams.
In another experiment, participants who felt angry were better at avoiding flags in a skiing video game.
“This pattern may indicate that general physical arousal was beneficial for game performance, as it would be greater in the anger, amusement, and desire conditions compared to the sad and neutral conditions.” – note the researchers.
However, there were no such differences in performance when participants played the simpler video game.
“People often prefer to use positive emotions as a tool more than negative ones, and tend to view negative emotions as undesirable and maladaptive. Our research adds to the growing body of evidence that a combination of positive and negative emotions promotes well-being, and that using negative emotions as tools can be particularly effective in some situations.”Lench said.
Read also: “If there is no anger, we will be destroyed as individuals and as a nation.” Interview with a psychologist about emotions during the war