Manic thinking: independent effects of thought speed and thought content on mood

Psychol Sci. 2006 Sep;17(9):807-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01786.x.


This experiment found that the speed of thought affects mood. Thought speed was manipulated via participants' paced reading of statements designed to induce either an elated or a depressed mood. Participants not only experienced more positive mood in response to elation than in response to depression statements, but also experienced an independent increase in positive mood when they had been thinking fast rather than slow--for both elation and depression statements. This effect of thought speed extended beyond mood to other experiences often associated with mania (i.e., feelings of power, feelings of creativity, a heightened sense of energy, and inflated self-esteem or grandiosity).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reaction Time*
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking*
  • Time Factors