The long-standing view in psychology is that positive emotions are conducive to creativity because they broaden the mind, whereas negative emotions are detrimental to creativity because they narrow one’s focus.
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research conducted by psychologist Eddie Harmon-Jones and his colleagues suggests that the critical variable influencing one’s scope of attention is not emotional valence (positive vs. negative emotions) but motivational intensity, or how strongly you feel compelled to either approach or avoid something.
Maybe the perceived fact that smart, rich parents tended to have smart, rich kids was largely due to the fact that they also tended to have stay-at-home moms or nannies who read to their kids, held them, put mobiles over their cribs, playing those annoying ditties, and sent them off for SAT training at six months.
I am fascinated by the places that music comes from, like fife-and-drum blues from southern Mississippi or Cajun music out of Lafayette, Louisiana, shape-note singing, old harp singing from the mountains - I love that stuff. It's like the beginning of rock and roll: something comes down from the hills, and something comes up from the delta.