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Do You Make Better Decisions When You're Angry?

Can you think straight while seeing red? According to a study published in the Social Psychology Bulletin, the answer is a resounding 'Yes!'

Anger has a reputation for leading to rash behavior based on illogical thinking. That may however not be entirely correct.

Researchers found that getting fired up may actually help you make better choices--even if you are normally not great at making rational decisions.

Why is this? They're not entirely sure, but it appears as though anger can make you focus on that which is important, and ignore things that are irrelevant to the task of making a decision.

It could be because anger is designed to motivate you to take action, and not being distracted by unimportant issues can help you do just that.

I wouldn't recommend getting worked up every time you need to make a decision however, since anger influences your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.

If you're prone to holding on to anger, I recommend trying the Emotional Freedom Technique, which I have found to be profoundly beneficial for releasing long-term emotional states that can have a negative impact on health.

Social Psychology Bulletin
33(5):706-20 May 2007

LiveScience.com June 11, 2007