Joe Forgas, an Australian psychologist, has studied the differential impact of negative and positive emotions on thinking and performing. His research shows that negative emotions and positive emotions have different advantages: while positive emotions foster creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative emotions breed attentiveness and careful thinking and paying greater attention to the external world and makes people less gullible and better at stating their case through written arguments.
To some extent this seems consistent with Barbara Fredrickson's explanation of the role of positive and negative emotions. In her book Positivity, she says that positive emotions broaden people's ideas about possible actions by opening us and making us more receptive and creative. Negative emotions, she says, spark a narrowed mindset which is important in case of threat. Barbara Fredrickson and Marical Losada's research has shed light on the role of positive and negative emotions in flourishing and found out that when there are three times or more as many positive experiences than negative ones, flourishing will start.
While Fredrickson acknowledges the usefulness of negative emotions, I think Forgas seems to go a bit further and mentions more and more specific advantages of negative emotions. My question is: Is any of this relevant for the solution-focused approach? And if yes, how might it be relevant? Suggestions are welcome.
Also read: Redirecting attention from negative to positive in 3 small steps (P->C->O)