How Fantasies Affect Focus

Fantasizing about sex gets more than just your juices flowing–it also boosts your analytical thinking skills. Daydreaming about love, on the other hand, makes you more creative, according to a study published in the November 2009 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin .

Previous research suggests that our problem-solving abilities change depending on our states of mind and that love–a broad, long-term emotion–triggers global brain pro­cessing, a state in which we see the big picture, make broad asso­ciations and connect disparate ideas. Sex, on the other hand–more specific and here and now–initiates more local processing, in which the brain zooms in and focuses on details. Researchers at the University of Amsterdam, Univer­sity of Groningen and Jacobs University Bremen wondered whether thinking about love might actually help people perform better on creative tasks, whereas imagining sex might prime people to do better on tasks requiring analytical thinking.

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