Using Mood to Enhance Your Creativity

Scientists studying human cognition have found that memory and mood are inextricably intertwined. Even more interesting is that we can take advantage of this situation by using a simple technique known as nuance priming.

Moody Night Scene on the River

We can deliberately use mood to enhance our ability to notice relevant information within ourselves and in the world around us. (Image: Vintage Printable)

Nuance priming is also a creativity research term. It means recalling or getting into a particular mood in order to exploit the brain’s habit of using feeling tones to sort and store information in related clusters called emotional cognitive structures. This is a fancy way of saying that the brain files ideas and memories in groups according to their feeling tone. Recall feeling tone X and we will get access to other things stored with the same, or similar, mood. This is a kind of deliberate associative (as opposed to logical) thinking. However, we are not actually doing the associative thinking. We are setting up a scenario to make use of the brain’s natural associative way of doing things.

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