Can frowning when you’re happy make you more creative?
…The study shows that when bodily expressions are in conflict with one’s actual feelings – such as recalling a happy memory while frowning or listening to sad music while smiling – people become more likely to accept and embrace atypical ideas.
Kellogg researchers Adam Galinsky and Li Huang suggest that this “mind-body dissonance” sends a signal to the brain that something is out of sync and prompts it to break its normal cognitive boundaries.
“Our minds are trained to operate within a ‘normal’ mental framework, constricting our perspectives to fit within a defined set of standards,” said Huang, a doctoral student in management and organizations at Kellogg. “Mind-body dissonance, when our thoughts and bodily expressions diverge, sheds lights on how internal conflict can be beneficial for breaking unwarranted mental sets and solving problems creatively.”
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