Do mood rings really work?

Do mood rings really work?

Question:

I really like the idea of mood rings… but, come on!  Isn’t it just goofy, pseudo science?  How can a ring tell me what sort of mood I am in?  This website seems to have a lot of information about mood rings, so I thought I’d write in.  Do mood rings really work?

Answer:

Yes.  Mood rings really work.  They are not pseudo science.  Here’s why…

Scientific Basis for Thermochromism

Mood rings are based on the same technology that hospitals and doctors used to use to check for a fever or determine if the victim is experiencing “shock”.  Some people may remember a doctor using a strip of flexible plastic on their head to check body temperature.  This was a very accurate method to quickly check a person’s temperature.

The technology was based on liquid crystal technology, sometimes called thermochromism.  This type of technology can be very sensitive to changes in color, and can distinguish a difference in 1 degree Celsius.

This method went away when the other technologies advance and reliability in them improved (digital thermometers, ear thermometers, etc).

How Temperature can Determine Mood

Finger and foot temperature has been used for many years in determining blood flow, which can be directly correlated to a person’s stress response.  This has been tested and proven many times over in controlled environments.  This method has even been used in therapy to teach patients how to control their emotional states by becoming more aware of what effect those emotional states have on the body.  This is called Biofeedback.

Traditionally, a person who is relaxed or happy has a higher blood flow in the extremities, and therefore a higher finger temperature.  A person who is stressed, irritated, or unhappy has a lower blood flow in the extremities and therefore a lower a finger temperature.

It’s even more interesting to note that the more upset you are, the lower the temperature of your fingers.  In other words, it’s a sliding scale.  The more stressed, the lower the temperature.  It’s been observed that a person’s fingers can drop over 20 degrees by recalling (in great detail) a negative experience with a family, friend or coworker.  This is a clear indication of the strong connection between mood and finger temperature.

The Variables

Here’s the rub.  Everything is susceptible to outside influence, and the accuracy of mood ring color meanings is no exception.  Since your body can only work so much to heat up your fingers (even in a relaxed state), extremely cold temperatures can affect mood ring colors.  The same also implies to intense heat, such as leaving your ring exposed to direct sunlight.  Washing your hands in hot water, or submerging your hands in a cold lake or stream will change the temperature greatly.

Since certain metals are better conductors of heat than others, make sure that you have a high-quality mood ring.  Quality mood rings are more accurate, last longer and look nicer.

What All of This Means

The bottom line is that mood rings don’t read your mind and they don’t predict the future.  However, much can be learned from mood ring colors, if you use them in a controlled environment.  If you are aware of what they really mean, you can uncover facets of yourself that you never knew existed.

Much like biofeedback therapy, you can also use your mood ring to control your emotional state.  Mood rings may not be as accurate as high-quality, digital biofeedback kits, but they are a good start if you are interested in self-improvement.