If You're Going Shopping, It's Best To be Angry
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman shares a wealth of evidence that our intuition works better when we are in a good mood-- we are more creative but also more gullible . . . and he calls this System 1, but if you're going to do something analytic, and you have to consider several positions or the pros and cons of something, then this is called System 2, and to activate System 2, it is better if you are sad or vigilant or suspicious (or perhaps all three, although you might not be much fun to be around) and Kahneman summarizes this by explaining that "a happy mood loosens the control of System 2 over performance: when in a good mood, people become more intuitive and more creative but also less vigilant and more prone to logical errors," and this explains a lot to me; as now I can see why I was in such an ugly mood when I was doing all the shopping around for a new mortgage-- playing one broker off another, crunching numbers, comparing points versus rates, etc.-- and why I'm in such a good mood when I play soccer, which is all intuition, creativity, and spontaneous reaction.