Feeling and thinking: Implications for problem solving

This chapter describes how our moods and emotions inhibit or facilitate thinking and problem solving. This selective review illustrates how psychologists have made considerable progress in understanding the interplay of feeling and thinking. As it is expected, the emerging story is more complex than early literature suggested, and positive as well as negative feelings can facilitate as well as impede problem solving. Unfortunately, our current understanding is mostly limited to the role of moods–and even in this domain, several crucial issues await empirical investigation. We are optimistic, however, that future research will successfully specify which processing requirements are signaled by the appraisal pattern underlying specific emotions and hence likely to be elicited by the respective emotional experience. Together with a better understanding of task characteristics, this would go a long way toward understanding the impact of specific emotions on specific types of tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (from the chapter)