1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Why I see the world through the rose coloured glasses – study results June 6, 2009

An interesting scientific prove of what I always knew: Optimists Literally See Better! 🙂 As you can see from my posts and photos, I am a hopeless optimist. And here comes the new study proving the nature of my (and many others’!) life perception.

 (image by me)

Beware of bad moods as they can worsen the way you perceive the world, says a new study.
“Specifically our study shows that when in a positive mood, our visual cortex takes in more information, while a negative mood results in tunnel vision, said Adam Anderson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto (U-T) who led the study.

Anderson’s team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine how our brain processes sensory information when in good, bad and neutral moods.

Researchers first showed subjects a series of images designed to generate a good, bad or neutral mood. Subjects were then shown a composite image, featuring a face in the centre, surrounded by “place” images, such as a house.

To focus their attention on the central image, subjects were asked to identify the gender of the person’s face. When in a bad mood, the subjects did not process the images of places in the surrounding background.

However, when viewing the same images in a good mood, they actually took in more information. Subjects saw the central image of the face as well as the surrounding pictures of the houses.

“Under positive moods, people may process a greater number of objects in their environment, which sounds like a good thing, but it also can result in distraction,” said Taylor Schmitz, study co-author.

“Good moods enhance the literal size of the window through which we see the world. The upside of this is that we can see things from a more global, or integrative perspective,”Schmitz added.

“The downside is that this can lead to distraction on critical tasks that require narrow focus, such as operating dangerous machinery or airport screening of passenger baggage,” he said.

Conversely “bad moods may keep us more narrowly focussed, preventing us from integrating information outside of our direct attentional focus,” Schmitz said.

The research appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience.


P.S. The rose coloured glasses do exist! 🙂

LOVE; axinia


16 Responses to “Why I see the world through the rose coloured glasses – study results”

  1. It’s so so great that science is styding how our mind and attention works out….so also intellectual, rational minds will be stimulate chanching their behaviours!

  2. If the results of this study are to be believed, the logical conclusion would be – Be in a perpetual bad mood when you are at work, be in a good mood at all other times! 😆 😀 🙂

    • axinia Says:

      I honestly doubt that a bad mood can be continiously helpful for any kind of work. Although..it is hard for me to say anything about it as I actually have no idea what “bad mood” means…really, I am alsways in a good one, since i remember myself 🙂

  3. On a more serious note, Axinia, I don’t really think the study concludes that optimists actually see better 🙂 It seems to suggest that optimists have a wider field of (mental) vision, but can miss out the details if they want to focus. Pessimists, on the other hand, can be focussed, but they would take a lot of time to see the whole picture.

    It seems to be something like the difference between the (physical) vision of a horse and a cat, for instance. A horse has its eyes located on the sides of its head. Therefore has a much wider field of vision and can see many things in its surroundings at the same time. Though it can see straight ahead, it cannot judge distances easily, since it the field of focus (where the vision of each of its eyes overlap) is very limited. The cat, on the other hand, has its eyes located in the front of its head. This definitely limits its field of vision and cannot see things in its surroundings without moving its head. But, since the field of focus is much larger since its eyes are placed close together, it can see straight ahead very well and can judge distances perfectly well.

    Is the vision of the horse really better than that of the cat? Or does the cat have better vision than the horse? I think it is neither. Each one has its pluses and minuses, and one is not necessarily better than the other. Personally, if I were asked to choose between the vision of the horse and that of the cat, I would definitely choose the cat’s vision 🙂 Good visibility in low light conditions is an added bonus!

    • axinia Says:

      Raj, I think “better” is here more in a menaning of “more intensive, more positive”.

    • axinia Says:

      I think it is obvious: if I can see more detalis than I definetly see BETTER 🙂
      And also…the world looks really much more beautiful throught the rose coloured glasses.

      • I don’t think it’s so obvious, Axinia. For instance, the horse has a HUGE field of vision and can see many things, but it has a very limited focus. This video is self explanatory:

        That’s why the rider (a human, just like cats, with his/her eyes placed at the front of the skull for better focus and judgement of distances) has to guide the horse. Otherwise, the horse would not be able to judge the distance, height etc. and would crash into the fence 😦

        While a wider field of vision is better in some cases, a more focussed vision is better in others 🙂

        • axinia Says:

          good example, Raj and thanks for the video!
          I also agree on your point “While a wider field of vision is better in some cases, a more focussed vision is better in others ” but still, focussed vision is ok, but not a depressive mood!

  4. swaps Says:

    The optimist thinks this is the
    best of all possible worlds.The
    pessimist fears it is true.

  5. I agree with Raj. I think the scientists are correct in their observations but flawed in their judgement. Just because you have a better vision, you may not be necessarily happy all the time. (They have actually proved the reverse, I don’t know how its converse can become true).

    Destination Infinity

  6. radha Says:

    to me these studies look obvious. it s so evident by waching what happens among people and different people…. i spend most of my time with tunnelish people and i have to be with them in order we all get to balance. it’s all a matter of energy levels.

  7. cordieb Says:

    Very interesting. I do find that when I’m in a bad mood, I seem to concentrate or focus on that which I’m upset about; not being able to look at life from a wider point of view, and thus, more balanced perspective. I have to literally talk myself out of the bad mood, look at the beauty of the world, i.e., nature, children, etc….and once I do, it often lifts my spirits. Again, I found this very interesting and I can relate it to myself and others. Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

  8. absesibly Says:

    Thanks much for that. It is really imformative stuff.
    I love to browse shaktipower.wordpress.com!

    teeth whitening phoenix

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s