If you have ever wondered what you could do to be better at decision-making, or if you want to know what influence your decision in a certain way, now you can stop wondering, because now, it seems, we have a better insight into this problem, and we can, in a certain way, improve the way we make decisions.
Researches from the University of Toronto Scarborough wanted to know in which way our emotions are influencing our decisions, given that we are making wrong and bad decisions under emotional stress. They concluded that our emotions, both positive and negative, are more intensive under bright light.
The researchers, Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of management at UTSC and the Rotman School of Management, and Aparna Labroo of Northwestern University, have done a series of studies to determine this unusual connection between our emotions and lighting.
In the study (they collected the data from six studies) they showed that there is a sort of strange impact of light on our emotional system and that light can turn on our emotional system.
The participants of the studies were asked to rate different things – the attractiveness of someone, the aggressiveness of a fictional character, the spiciness of the chicken – wing sauce, the taste of two juices, and their feelings about specific words (positive and negative). The result showed that bright light has a power to intensify the emotions.
In particular, in the bright light, the participants wanted spicier chicken wing sauce, thought that the fictional character was more aggressive, drank more of the “favorable” juice, felt better about positive words, and finally, thought that women are more attractive.
Our emotional system can be perceived as heat in terms of the effects bright light has on it, so the perception of heat can trigger emotions, and as Xu explained:
“Bright light intensifies the initial emotional reaction we have two different kinds of stimulus, including products and people.”
Xu continues explaining:
“Other evidence shows that on sunny days people are more optimistic about the stock market, report higher wellbeing and are more helpful while extended exposure to dark, gloomy days can result in seasonal affective disorder. Contrary to these results, we found that on sunny days depression-prone people actually become more depressed.”
While we knew the effects sunlight and Sun has on our emotions, mood and overall well being, what should we do on a rainy day? On a rainy and gloomy day, we should consider making important and rational decisions when the lights are off, or at least not very bright. This should be especially interesting for entrepreneurs, business people, and marketers. However,
“If you are selling emotional expressive products such as flowers or engagement rings it would make sense to make the store as bright as possible”, Xu explains.
So, if you want to finish your business earlier and have better results, such as settling the deal successfully, you should turn the light off, and if you want to be more attractive and get more attention, consider wearing that attractive clothes when the lights are bright.
What do you think about this?
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