Study: Intuition, mood may affect belief

May 15, 2007

A U.S. study suggests people who are intuitive and in a good mood are prone to believe just about anything.

The researchers, led by University of Missouri-Columbia Professor Laura King, examined how mood and intuition can affect a person's beliefs.

"When you're in a good mood and more intuitive, you're open-minded, creative and engaged in what appears to be reality," King said. "You make non-rational associations."

In one of three scenarios, participants were asked to throw darts at various objects in a "practice session" and were led to believe they subsequently would throw darts at various shapes, receiving a quarter for each hit.

Following the practice shots, a baby's photo was tacked to the dartboard. As expected, King said, while all participants had difficulty hitting the target with the baby's face, the intuitive participants who were in a good mood had the most difficulty.

"It's as if people believed that somewhere a baby was screaming because darts were hitting the baby in the face," King said.

The three studies appear collectively in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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