Contrary to the popular notion of the tortured genius, recent research confirms that you don’t have to cut off your ear to whip up wondrous works of creativity. Instead, good moods are more likely to spark inventiveness than bad ones are, report Teresa Amabile, Sigal Barsade, Jennifer Mueller, and Barry Staw in their September 2005 Administrative Science Quarterly article.

Amabile, who heads the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School, and her colleagues at the Wharton...

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