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Evidence That Good Moods Prevent Colds

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-worry-be-happy dept.

Christmas Cheer 200

duguk writes in with another reason to keep happy over Christmas. A new scientific study suggests that people who frequently experience positive emotions are less likely to catch colds. Psychologist Sheldon Cohen and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University interviewed 193 healthy adults daily for two weeks and recorded the positive and negative emotions they had experienced each day. The researchers then exposed the volunteers to a cold or a flu virus. Those with "generally positive outlooks" reported fewer cold symptoms. From the article: "'We need to take more seriously the possibility that a positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk,' Cohen says... Although a positive emotional style bore no relation to whether participants became infected, it protected against the emergence of cold symptoms. For instance, among people infected by the influenza virus... 28 percent who often reported positive emotions developed coughs, congestion, and other cold symptoms, as compared with... 41 percent who rarely reported positive emotions."

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Bah (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304304)

. . . choo!

Anybody got a tissue?

Nope... (2, Informative)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304398)

...but I would like to take the opportunity to point out that this Sheldon Cohen is not the same as the former IRS tax commissioner who wrote the tax code in '78 and is the author of the famous and controversial book on the insight into the IRS's inner chamber members that so many of us are familiar with.

I was introduced to the former Mr. Cohen at Stanford in '98. After reading a few of his papers on the immune system, I would not doubt the legitimacy of his trials. Here's a bit more [wikipedia.org] on his works!

Re:Bah (1, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304418)

Anybody got a tissue?

Slashdot is definitely the place to ask for tissues...

Re:Bah (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304638)

I'm not going to dig into the co-relation/causality side of things, I know it will be done to death because it's the obvious dig.

But having read down the forum posts a bit, I wonder:

Why is curing sickness so important, but the idea of curing sadness gets such scorn?

Re:Bah (3, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305046)

I would say, it's partly because, for every thoughtful, intelligent psychological theorist out there, there are five guys taping electrodes to monkey testicles in order to prove that apes percieve the color blue as the smell of radishes.

Add to that the stigma that, while sickness is external, and needs treatment, sadness is internal..."in the head" as it were, and thus is a symptom of a weak/unstable mind.

I come down somewhat in the middle myself, so while acknowledging that there are many different types of mental illness that respond well to treatment, I'd never put "sadness" in that category. Being happy and unhappy, in most people, is more about your life than about anything else, and to take a pill to be happy all the time is a little too Brave New World for me.

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17305510)

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Maybe (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304306)

Maybe happy people just don't complain as much.

Cause/effect (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304842)

Cheap shot for funny:Maybe they're just happy they haven't got a cold.

Happy->less run-down->less prone to lurgies. Such chains are well understood.

Re:Maybe (4, Insightful)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304870)

Maybe happy people just don't complain as much.

Important point, my grandmother, as my mother would say, would never bleed, she'd hemorrhage, she'd never get a papercut, it would be a laceration. Frame of mind has a lot to do with how you designate what's wrong with you.

I personally hardly notice or care when most colds come or go because I don't dwell on them. There's people who seem to be always sick, just because they can always find some symptom to complain about. Happy people could've just not even noticed their symptoms, because they aren't in a "woe is me" frame of mind.

People looking for a tragedy in their own lives always find one.

Re:Maybe (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305562)

Or maybe people who don't get colds are happier.

Or maybe people who don't seem to get colds, seem to be happier.

correlation, not cause and effect (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304310)

It's an interesting correlation, but the article/study doesn't give a convincing argument "positive" feelings can prevent illness. It simply reports positive feelings and emotions are closely correlated to resistance to acquiring or displaying symptoms from influenza (rhinovirus).

I don't discount a positive attitude is a good thing to have, but a more rigorous approach could have given better or more convincing results. For example, is it possible some people have a less positive outlook or less positive emotions because they have a less effective immune system and therefor are more often ill (thus introducing a possible reason for the less positive emotions)?

Relatedly, is it possible those with positive outlooks and emotions are just that because they have a strong immune system and are rarely ill?

I'd be interested in seeing a study where some of the "negative" subjects were trained in positive emotions and reintroduced to the study to see if their results are different. I'd like to guess positive feelings positively influences their health, but this study doesn't give that proof.

(My favorite example of this kind of "study" is the correlation between increased sales of ice cream and drownings, leading some to possibly think ice cream increases drowning risk... of course ignoring the fact that ice cream sales increase in warmer weather when more people are swimming.)

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (1)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304516)

Exactly.

There's also a correlation between milk consumption and crime. The two, of course, are related to rise in population and cutting milk consumption will not prevent crime. Here we could ask: Can a weak immune system cause a negative mood?

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304544)

I do note the phrase 'reported fewer symptoms' in there. Which has the interesting idea that the subjects themselves counted how sick they got. Want to bet an optimist doesn't count a couple of coughs while a pessimist does?

That's not the only problem here... (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304556)

That's the first, and probbably most glaring problem with this study. The second is that according t o the article the cold symptoms were self-reported. How do we know that people with "positive" emotions aren't just more willing to ignore any symptoms they have, or rate them lower? In other words attitude might affect how people interpret, or report symptoms.

I'd have been more impressed if the researchers had chosen an objective method of measuring symptoms rather than a subjective one.

Re:That's not the only problem here... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305148)

The second is that according t o the article the cold symptoms were self-reported.

      If you had actually READ the article, you would have seen THIS bit:

      "Each person was quarantined in a separate room and monitored for 5 or 6 days."

      Now, how do you equate "self reported" with "monitored"?

      Mood has a great deal to do with morbidity. Physicians have known for YEARS that the mortality and morbidity rate for an individual will skyrocket in the first year after a divorce, bereavement of a loved one, or some other major stress factor. What we DON'T know yet is the mechanism.

Re:That's not the only problem here... (1)

Cryolithic (563545) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305360)

If you had actually READ the article, you would have seen THIS bit:

You must be new here.

Maybe you should read more carefully... (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305462)


Each person was quarantined in a separate room and monitored for 5 or 6 days.

Monitored for what? The article doesn't say. However it DOES say this:

Unlike the negatively inclined participants, they reported fewer cold symptoms than were detected in medical exams.

So the only result was that the people with "positive" outlooks reported less than were actually detected. Isn't that exactly what I said might be a problem with this study?

Mood has a great deal to do with morbidity. Physicians have known for YEARS that the mortality and morbidity rate for an individual will skyrocket in the first year after a divorce, bereavement of a loved one, or some other major stress factor.

And I suspect these are all correlation studies. See correlation doesn't imply causation.

Re:That's not the only problem here... (2, Informative)

Venerable Vegetable (1003177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305250)

The symptoms were self reported according to the article summary, the article itself however says:

Each person was quarantined in a separate room and monitored for 5 or 6 days. Although a positive emotional style bore no relation to whether participants became infected, it protected against the emergence of cold symptoms. For instance, among people infected by the influenza virus, 14 of 50 (28 percent) who often reported positive emotions developed coughs, congestion, and other cold symptoms, as compared with 23 of 56 infected individuals (41 percent) who rarely reported positive emotions.
I do agree with the GP though. I know some people with chronic diseases and they are significantly less happy than the average person. I doubt that's a coincidence.

Re:That's not the only problem here... (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305524)

The article also says the following:

Unlike the negatively inclined participants, they reported fewer cold symptoms than were detected in medical exams.


So what's going on here? It's pretty impossible to say from the article itself. You'd need to read the actual paper.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304584)

Another possible explanation is that stress suppresses the immune response. When you're being chased by the proverbial T-Rex, all your energy goes to the functions useful for escaping the T-Rex (and your immune system doesn't help with the T-Rex).

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (4, Informative)

MrFlibbs (945469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304590)

This reminds me of another study to determine the relationship between height and basketball. Subjects were sorted into two groups: those who played basketball and those who did not. The basketball-playing group was, on the average, several inches taller. The conclusion? Playing basketball makes you taller!

Correlation does not imply causation.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (3, Funny)

naddington (852722) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305166)

> Correlation does not imply causation.

No, but correlation is correlated to causation...

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (4, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304614)

Well... It may the underlying reasons for the good moods, not the good moods themselves.

I noted that my colds have a nearly perfect correlation with the level of tiredness. I used to catch an average of more than one cold a month during the winter in the days when I overworked myself, worked extra hours for a prolonged period without compensating with a day off here or there, took work home and otherwise followed the antisocial behaviour pattern loved by slaver PHBs.

Nowdays, I stay strictly within the "green" zone of sub-40h per week at work and do not overdo the recreational coding. As a result I have less than one cold per 4-6 months. I have observed the same correlation in other people.

Unfortunately many PHBs do not grok the phenomenon. They would rather have their staff staring at the monitor at the height of lemsim stupor while checking in ephedrin driven code that has to be thrown out later anyway. Even the fact that the average productivity in the industry in Europe is in nearly perfect inverse proportion to the overtime put in does not make them stop and think for a second.

Studies have to start somewhere (1)

mcguiver (898268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304620)

While it is true that this isn't a very through investigation I think the point is that there is a correlation. Once this has been established it is easier to get funding to do additional, more thorough, testings. So while this article isn't stating facts I think that it would be interesting for them to get funding and do additional research in this area.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (3, Insightful)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304710)

You're asking for more rigor, and scare-quoting this "study."

I'm asking, "Why so skeptical?"

When you read the article, you see that the people performing the study are well aware that this is only "pointing at" possibilities, not definitively saying, "This is true."

You're requesting more rigor, and I don't think they'd disagree with you. They performed a study. They're looking at the results. The questions that come out of this study will inspire further study.

The article portrays a picture of ambiguity. Sounds about right.

This is not a "study," this is a study proper. Studies do not demand the churning out of new Laws. Its sufficient to frame an experiment, say, "Well, I think it's X; It warrants a further look," and then tell people that.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (2, Insightful)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304910)

"When you read the article, you see that the people performing the study are well aware that this is only 'pointing at' possibilities, not definitively saying, 'This is true.'"
 
Then what's the damn point? Why not do a study that does more than "point" to begin with? The study does not give reliable results. All it says is that there is a correlation. That doesn't prove that it merits more study or not. As in the examples given above, anything can correlate. Doing a study to prove such is a waste of time. They should have had better hypotheses and testing methods to begin with. Bleh, I'm tired and can't explain my thought very well. Here comes a -1 mod, heh. Could someone more coherent explain what I'm trying to say?

MOD PARENT UP (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304984)

You are absolutely right. While the grandparent is correct in his saying that corelation does not imply causation, the scientists who did the study never said that this corelation implied a causation. The study reads very plainly that they found a corelation between mood and cold symptoms. That's pretty much all they said. The questions brought up by the grandparent and some of the replies to it are probably the same questions these scientists are asking and would probably like to do further study to figure out if there was in fact causation, or if positive people don't complain much. In my experience, mood seems to sometimes cause sickness. I know people with depression who are always getting sick. I even once faked sick to stay home from school. My performance was so convincing that I actually did get sick and got to stay home a second day, except I felt like crap. Anxiety and stress can certainly make you feel like crap, even vomit, even if you don't actually have any virus/infection/etc.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (1)

slightlyspacey (799665) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304866)

Statistically, you do have a valid point. But, the researchers may be onto something. I mean how many happy psychosomantic people do you know? It's like the old joke: What is the worst thing you can say to a pyschosomantic? You look great!

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (1)

yali (209015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304914)

Here's a link to the journal abstract [psychosoma...dicine.org].

Although the study was not as inferentially strong as a randomized experiment, it was a prospective design with a number of statistical controls -- so it's a lot better than the ice cream/drowning correlation. Controls included pre-existing antibodies to the virus as well as self-reported health (which researchers usually consider [wkhealth.com] a useful but imperfect proxy for other indicators).

Also, with regard to someone else's comment, they quarantined subjects and measured for objective markers of illness -- the results don't depend on self-reported symptoms.

A randomized trial would be a great idea to give stronger support to this theory, and hopefully the researchers are planning one. However, the study was focused on fairly stable emotional dispositions. "Training in positive emotions" is no easy thing, as anybody who's ever been clinically depressed can tell you. But this study suggests it's probably worth trying.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (3, Informative)

yali (209015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305630)

Oh, and here's a link to the full text [cmu.edu] of the original article in case anybody's interested.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (1)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304970)

I dunno, my ex showed up at my company Christmas party with her new boyfriend, and the next day I got a cold.

Re: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17305320)

Quoth the abstract:
For both viruses, increased PES was associated with lower risk of developing an upper respiratory illness as defined by objective criteria (adjusted odds ratio comparing lowest with highest tertile = 2.9) and with reporting fewer symptoms than expected from concurrent objective markers of illness. These associations were independent of prechallenge virus-specific antibody, virus type, age, sex, education, race, body mass, season, and NES. They were also independent of optimism, extraversion, mastery, self-esteem, purpose, and self-reported health. [emphasis added]


These results occurred regardless of objective indicators of immune response. The results showed that between two people with equally healthy immune systems, the one with the PES would experience or manifest fewer symptoms than the one with the NES, although both were equally likely to be infected by the virus.

I agree that it does not necessarily prove causation; however, it does prove that the researchers accounted for your counter-example.

Re:correlation, not cause and effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17305500)

lack of stress and being relatively happy go hand in hand and I find dispite a high exposure to people, my general health is fine and I don't get colds and flu. Being selfemployed and choosing when i want to work really helps with the stress levels. Incidentally I talked with a Doctor the other day he reckons hygiene and rubber gloves help keep him healthy.

 

We should already have this data (1)

KKlaus (1012919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305660)

Isn't the obvious solution to look at the affects anti-depressants have on general health? This should be easy, theres plenty of people on and off (so you don't have to worry about not having enough people to correct for various other variables like socioeconomic status). I think if people on mood elevators tended to be healthier, or could be shown to become healthier, we would have our answer. It would be a very interesting study, wouldn't it?

I've been in a horrible mood (2, Funny)

BadERA (107121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304322)

Every morning since I started drinking regularly ... but at the same time, I haven't had a cold since then either.

Re:I've been in a horrible mood (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305034)

Every morning since I started drinking regularly ... but at the same time, I haven't had a cold since then either.

      Well considering that most of the inflammatory substances that cause cold symptoms are produced or metabolized by the liver at some point, perhaps the real problem is that your liver is already shot? :P

Riiiight.... (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304330)

Maybe the researchers should consider that the good mood is the symptom, not the cause.

In Other News... (1)

forrestt (267374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304374)

Researchers determine that people that don't have colds are in better moods than people who do.

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304428)

Bzzt. Wrong.
They tracked mood before exposing them.
Read much?

Re:In Other News... (1)

forrestt (267374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304810)

OK, I know you're a troll, and I was making a joke you are incapable of understanding, but I'll respond anyway.

Their tracking of mood in no way means the subjects weren't already infected with something or that they didn't have some other more chronic problem that hadn't been diagnosed yet.

Re:Riiiight.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304830)

Possibly, but think about it for a second. I really believe that stress has a huge impact on one's health. If you're stressed, you seem far more likely to get sick than you do if you're relaxed and happy.

Animals are excellent examples of this. Cause undue stress on them and they will range in response from acting very strangely, to outright dying.

Well.... (1)

flynt (248848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304336)

Maybe people with a bad attitude have it because of their tendancy in the past to have greater symptoms of disease. Unless w can randomize positive and negative 'attitude' to people, we'll never know for sure.

It's true! (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304376)

I love the autumn season. So around september or october, I'm such in a good mood that I forget about my fear of needles and go to the pharmacy to get the year's flu shot. And get what? I never get the flu!

RTFS (1)

flynt (248848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304392)

Read The Fine Summary Editors:

Editor: A new scientific study suggests that people who frequently experience positive emotions are less likely to catch colds.

Summary: Although a positive emotional style bore no relation to whether participants became infected...

This is why 'literate' people often score so poorly on literacy tests. They can read a five-line summary of something and believe the exact opposite of the conclusion.

agreed! (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304464)

The findings of the study states the exact opposite of the headline and the link to the article. But I supose the current headline does have a certain...'truthiness' to it that will help drive up click throughs.

-Rick

Re:RTFS (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304500)

In fairness, it depends on whether you define "catch colds" as undergoing infection or developing symptoms. If the infection is unnoticeable to the patient, is that a "cold"?

Re:RTFS (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304528)

As the editor posting this, I do apoligise most humbly, but I did steal the whole story from Boingboing, and I'm openly admit to that.

Sorry for misleading you.

DugUK

Re:RTFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304720)

Argh, I hate replying to myself but I did actually set TFS title to 'Good moods prevent colds?' not 'Evidence that good moods prevent colds'. First story I've ever got on slashdot though! I'm so pleased!! :D
 
Sad, eh?

Re:RTFS (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304766)

I don't see it as misleading. If anything, the study itself is the one that's misleading. When the layman says "catch a cold", we don't mean that you have X ppm viral load, we mean that you have a runny nose, cough, etc. The study says that everyone had the virus (it was deliberately introduced), but some developed (or at least reported developing) symptoms. The latter category is what we would generally call "catching a cold," so the subject is correct.

It can sometimes be difficult to translate medicalese into English, so don't assume that all translations are perfect.

or maybe... (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304432)

Or maybe people with a good out look on life just don't whine and complain as much. Maybe to happy people a little sniffle isn't as noticable as someone who is always complaining about things. It's like those people who look outside, see 2 flakes of snow and call into work saying they can't come in because it's snowing. "Oh, so your taking a vacation day??" OK, I'll be in on time. Sigh.

Unpossible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304436)

I've had one of the WORST years. I've lost >$20k, I've lost my mother and I've gained weight.

However, I have not been sick. One of the few good things.

Re:Unpossible. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304916)

I've had one of the WORST years. I've lost >$20k, I've lost my mother and I've gained weight.

However, I have not been sick.


Yet... (ducking!)

Not only are you sick, you're also a bad person. (2, Insightful)

nullkill (835502) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304440)

Talk about kicking someone when they're down.

Re:Not only are you sick, you're also a bad person (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305642)

I remember an article I read once on Scientific American about cancer and mental attitude. The author, whose name I don't remember but she was a psychiatrist in the oncology department at Cornell, did a long term study on the effect of mental states in 500 breast cancer victims. She found no correlation at all. And this, note well, comes from a researcher who would have it in her best interest if some correlation were found.


She went on to say that some badly conducted studies seemed to point to positive thinking having an effect on cancer cure. She said that's a cruel thing, to give such false hope to people who are suffering from a possibly terminal disease. When the patients tried to get better by "positive" thinking without effect, they suffered an additional pain, they thought they were getting worse from their own incompetence at having thoughts that were "positive" enough. They had a guilt syndrome added unnecessarily to all the suffering related to being a cancer patient.

On the other hand... (1)

Socguy (933973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304452)

Could it not be possible that those with a more positive outlook on life view their symptoms and not so bad, whereas those with a negitive outlook view their symptoms as more troublesome? S.

Anecdote: My Sickly Friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304462)

I have a friend who keeps passing along annoying snippets like this that suggest that exhibiting a happy, carefree attitude to life is good for you as well as being fun (this does not cheer me up - in fact it makes me even more pissed off than before, because I'm a moody bastard and there's nothing much I can do about it except stay out of people's way when I'm in a down period. Seriously, I'm not making it up; I'm mildly bipolar.) However, said friend is also constantly going down with colds, which it takes her weeks to get over. On the other hand, she's also an on-again, off-again IV opiate user, and the cold symptoms are partly just the early stages of withdrawal - I've seen one quick shot produce an instant "cure", end to aching limbs and dripping nose, cough, etc. ( Hey...! this could be the miracle cure for the common cold!! )

(Yes, this is the UK, so she manages to hold down a steady office job, pay her taxes etc, rather than being slung in prison for life. She doesn't commit crime to feed her habit, tho' she did go through a period of "borrowing" from the petty cash she'd been put in charge of, and putting it back when she got paid...)

Of course, "data" isn't the plural of "anecdote".

Bah Humbug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304482)

Bah Humbug. :sniffles:

Bananas (5, Funny)

dunsurfin (570404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304548)

I eat bananas on a regular basis and have noticed that this keeps rogue alligators away from me. The victims of rogue alligator attacks never have bananas on their person. I strongly advise those who are worried about rogue attack from alligators to eat bananas.

Re:Bananas (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304618)

I eat bananas on a regular basis and have noticed that this keeps rogue alligators away from me. The victims of rogue alligator attacks never have bananas on their person. I strongly advise those who are worried about rogue attack from alligators to eat bananas.

Seeing my wife eat a banana makes me happy. So what she eats can affect my health?!!?

instead of being an excuse for time off, it's now (1)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304596)

::sniffle:: "Gee boss, I could really use a substantial increase in my salary."

-or-

::sniffle:: "C'mon honey, doing it would make me feel sooo much better."

Good moods mean a clean apartment... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304698)

I'm a lot happier when my apartment is cleaned up. The dust bunnies are killed behind the computers. The dirty dishes are washed and put away. The "it's weird and pissed off" thing is gone from the bathroom. The living room is picked up and the game console put away. The bedsheets are fresh from the laundry. All I need is a magical girl to move in to complete my happiness. :P

Re:Good moods mean a clean apartment... (1)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304812)

I'm the same way and have the same problem.

Turns out that keeping a tidy place, standing up straight, speaking with big words, and having a taste for fine scotch and wine before the age of forty are all indicators to the opposite sex that you're a homosexual.

I tend to have much better luck picking up ladies when I'm unshaven and unwashed, hunched over a bar drinking a cheap beer on a sunday night. Something about a sink full of dirty dishes and dirty clothes in a pile on the floor says 'real man' to the ladies.

Re:Good moods mean a clean apartment... (1)

Woldry (928749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305464)

I have the opposite problem. I'm openly gay, but nobody seems to notice. I'm an inveterate pack rat and an incorrigible slob. My house is a disaster area (you don't want to know how long it's been since I knew where the vacuum cleaner was), my attire is rumpled no matter how hard I try to look natty, and I often have to be reminded how long it's been since I shaved. My desk at work wins the "CLEAN IT UP" award year after year at performance evaluations. I have no discriminating taste for wine (I like it all), can't stand scotch. I couldn't arrange flowers or accessorize a wardrobe to save my life.

Luckily, my boyfriend doesn't seem to mind at all, so no worries...

Optimists vs Pessimists (0)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304760)

People who report fewer negative feelings also report fewer cold symptoms. Duh!

Nothing to do with a "greater resistance" to anything, just looking on the bright side.

Please can we leave medical experiments to medically-trained people in future and not "psychologist Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and his colleagues". Also this was a study published in 2003

Re:Optimists vs Pessimists (2, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304880)

People who report fewer negative feelings also report fewer cold symptoms.

      Of course if you had read the article you would have seen the part where the subjects were kept under constant observation for 5 days. They're not just going by the subjective reports.

Or, maybe even (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304770)

Maybe people that get sick less are happier than people that get sick more?

This is what happens when you try to treat correlation as causation, it can be interpreted many different ways.

I just read... (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304776)

Maxim had an interesting article that semen, when absorbed through the vagina, helped keep women from being depressed. So if sex helps women be happy, and happiness prevents colds, that shot of penis-cillin really is helpful!

Too bad it won't work in a pick-up line.

Flu shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304876)

...that shot of penis-cillin really is helpful!

Gives a new meaning to getting your "Flu-shot"!

Man in club, "Hey babe! How abut a flu shot!"

Wonder what would happen... (4, Funny)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304858)

Wonder what would happen if they did a study like this about STD's? "I felt great and I caught it anyway!!! AAUUUGH!"

Human subjects? (1, Insightful)

cmason (53054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304894)

The researchers then exposed the volunteers to a cold or a flu virus.

How the hell did they get that past IRB (Institutional Review Board)?

-c

Simmons = Immortal (1)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17304900)

people who frequently experience positive emotions are less likely to catch colds.
It has now been confirmed.

The happiest man in the world, Richard Simmons, is immortal.

- John

not conclusive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17304988)

Maybe more sickly people have a harder time maintaining a positive attitude.

This is new information? (3, Interesting)

Osiris Ani (230116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305082)

People who tend to express more negative emotions are typically more emotionally stressed. Chronic excessive emotional stress has been quite well known to be physically debilitating, as it generally weakens the immune system. Beyond that, the link between depression and immunodeficiency is hardly a new one; its causation actually swings in both directions.

dawn (1)

cdani (1041778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305102)

Do you know what is the dawn? is a power envelope that leaks most of the negative vibrations and directly is related to the physical part. It is possible to emphasize that the people who have their dawn debilitated by an esoteric power bassoon can absorb influences ominous and be prone to have psychosomatic upheavals.

Evidence of the Law of Attraction? (1)

spectro (80839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305120)

This may be evidence of the so called Universal Law of Attraction [wikipedia.org]. People that believes in that stuff claims that If you think about negative stuff such as getting a cold or say "this job makes me sick", guess what, you will get sick. On the other hand, positive thoughts seem to attract positive stuff towards you. They even made a documentary [thesecret.tv] about it.

They claim this law can be explained with Quantum Mechanics (sic). I personally don't know much about it but so far it seems to be working for me.

Happiness vs Exposure To Others (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305236)

In my experience, the number of people I'm exposed to while in a good mood is far greater than it is when I'm not in a good mood. Statistically, it seems like happier people should be far more likely to get sick.

Perhaps this may be dictated more by *who* we're exposed to depending on our mood, rather than by our mood itself.

For example, a happy person is probably more likely to go to a random place for entertain among others upon impulse, while unhappy people may be more likely to either be around one or two close friends/relatives or they simply remain alone.

Another point of interest would be to see how many of these happy/unhappy people had recently been to a doctor's office or knew someone that had been they had contact with.

Sunlight is the common cause (2, Interesting)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305264)

Among the effects of sunlight on people are 1) it produces Vitamin D, and 2) it produces serotonin. It's been recently rediscovered that Vitamin D prevents colds and flus. Thus sunlight puts us in a better mood and prevents flus and colds. We get more colds and flus (and depressed) in the winter because there is less sunlight.

Moods and flu prevention form a mere correlation from the common cause of sunlight.

... Prevents Good Code (1)

djKing (1970) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305426)

That's how I read it, dyslectic flare up. All normal now. How are you?

Or else... (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305474)

Maybe people with "generally positive outlooks" are more likely to have gotten flu shots. I wonder if they asked about that.

Good moods == Good Hormones. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305536)

Seriously- your mood is a reflection of your internal chemical state.

There are long term studies that show people's basic moods do not change.

In my case, everything went to hell about 18 months ago after a lifetime of being very easy going.

All the sudden, I was anxious, irritable, had night sweats, couldn't think straight, was sleeping 9+ hours and still tired, had low sex drive, my reaction speed in sports sucked, and I was getting sick after years of not getting sick. My mood sucked!

After a comprehensive physical the reason was clear. My free testosterone levels had dropped from some normal range to below 270. A few *DAYS* of hormone replacement cream and the anxiety and night sweats stopped. My thinking took maybe 5 or 6 days to return. At the same time, I started waking up rested after 7 hours of sleep. My sex drive came back with a vengence. My reaction speed came back in sports (tho the gimp knee is still gimp).

I *SERIOUSLY* think low testosterone levels explains a huge number of problems with men past 40 (about 43 to 44 to be precise). I even think it explains a lot of alcoholism even tho I didn't have that issue- I did experience a lot of relief from my anxiety from casual drinking. Anxiety that is gone now.

And when I forget to put on the cream- I can *FEEL* the anxiety creep back over me. My logical mind knows there is no cause for it (it feels like when your boss asks you to drop by their office on the way out and you know it's going to be a bad meeting) I still feel that way anyway.

So my theory is that you fix hormones (well- and for a lot of other people Thyroid), you fix "mood" secondarily while also fixing getting sick.

Oh yea... been sick maybe 3 days since I started the HRT.

Proof? Atchoo! There's your proof! (1)

Pflipp (130638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17305652)

Apparently the guy who wanted the proof never got a nervous cold himself. I have.

Coming back from getting my motorcycle driver's license, I sneezed all the way from the instructor's to the town house (where I got my license), which is a good ride through the city.

I was already suffering from nervous colds back then. My fellow employees expected the daily sneeze around 3 pm.

It's a dumb thing, really. But it's there. Sneezing to break the nervous tension. And it feels lame :-)
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