Sunday, June 01, 2008

Being sad helps concentration in school

Not sure exactly how I can apply this bit of research to my son - I am interested in trying anything that helps him to concentrate better but I cannot see me making him sad every day before sending him to school ... LOL! No need to actively enforce misery as part of the school curriculum, says the lead researcher. That's good to know!! Maybe the trick is to keep him in a neutral mood - not too buoyant, but not sad either.

Children who are wiping away a tear in class are better able to concentrate than those who are feeling happy, according to new research. The research, carried out at the University of Plymouth, found children who were in a negative or neutral mood were more likely to be questioning and critical in their thinking, assisting them in tasks which required close attention. Those who were feeling happy and carefree were more likely to gloss over details and therefore more prone to error.

Dr Simone Schnall, the lead researcher, said the results showed that while being happy assists creativity and imagination, a negative or neutral mood was more useful when it came to concentration skills. "Research has shown that when it comes to the broader picture, or creative tasks, the confidence that comes with a good mood helps performance," she said. "Our study shows that a negative mood can be useful. It tells us to pay attention. It warns us there is a risk of something going wrong and that caution can help children to perform better." (More Here: Telegraph)

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