Order Dr. Roger Hall’s New book: Staying Happy Being Productive

You affect the culture around you. Do you ever…”Oh, the culture in this place is awful!” Guess who’s adding to that culture? You are.

So back in the 1970s when you could do these kinds of experiments with students and nobody cared, they took students and they said, we’re going to give you a vitamin called suproxin. So come in and we’re going to give you this injection of suproxin. And then…We spent so much money on this, this vitamin that we couldn’t afford our own waiting room. So we’re going to have you wait in this waiting room with another experiment.

Well, here’s what you need to know. Half of the students got “suproxin”, the other half got inert saline. Which doesn’t do anything to you. And then they put them in one of two waiting rooms. In the first waiting room, they had the they, it was the angry room. These two people were arguing. There’s a woman in the corner crying, everyone else’s kind of trying to hide. And they had the person wait in that environment for 30 minutes.

And then they had the other condition, which was the happy room. And they’re bouncing a beach ball around. They’re crumpling up newspapers and shooting baskets. There’s a guy telling jokes.

And after 30 minutes they bring the students back in. And the students who got inert saline, when they were in the angry condition, they said, well how do you feel? And they go, I don’t know, but I really didn’t…what’s that experiment? I got like four more credits I’ve got to do for these experiments. I don’t want to do that one, because that would looked awful.

And when they were in the happy group, they said, oh, I feel okay, but what’s that experiment got four more credits I got to fulfill. I want to do that experiment.

But when they got suproxin, which wasn’t suproxin, it was Epinephrin, which is speed. It’s adrenaline, and it’s what your body releases when you’re angry, afraid or excited.

When they got this boost of adrenaline and they are in the angry condition, they go, I don’t think you should put this on the market. I feel awful. I feel like I could just rip somebody’s head off, this is bad stuff. Don’t, don’t use this.

When they put them in the happy group, they’re like, this stuff is awesome. Can I get some more?

What they did is they interpreted their internal state by looking at the people around them. When you’re a leader in your organization, when people walk in, they look at you and whatever you’re doing, it’s infectious.