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A hidden cost of happiness in children.


Type

Article

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Authors

Jaswal, Vikram K 
Rowe, Christina 

Abstract

Happiness is generally considered an emotion with only beneficial effects, particularly in childhood. However, there are some situations where the style of information processing triggered by happiness could be a liability. In particular, happiness seems to motivate a top-down processing style, which could impair performance when attention to detail is required. Indeed, in Experiment 1, 10- to 11-year-old children (N = 30) induced to feel a happy mood were slower to locate a simple shape embedded in a complex figure than those induced to feel a sad mood. In Experiment 2, 6- to 7-year-old children (N = 61) induced to feel a happy mood found fewer embedded shapes than those induced to feel a sad or neutral mood. Happiness may have unintended and possibly undesirable cognitive consequences, even in childhood.

Description

Keywords

Attention, Child, Child Development, Cognition, Depression, Female, Happiness, Humans, Male, Problem Solving, Psychological Tests

Journal Title

Dev Sci

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1363-755X
1467-7687

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley