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Title:Mood as information: Affective cues for cognitive processing styles
Author(s):Dienes, Bruce Paul Alexander
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Clore, Gerald L.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Personality
Psychology, Cognitive
Abstract:The effect of positive and negative induced mood states on cognitive processing style was examined, using the mood as information hypothesis (Clore, Schwarz, & Conway, 1994; Schwarz & Clore, 1983, 1988) as a theoretical framework. Most theories that attempt to explain mood effects see mood as interfering with cognitive processing, but the mood as information hypothesis predicts that task performance may be facilitated by certain moods, depending on the cognitive requisites of the task.
Three experiments give evidence for different cognitive processing styles for participants in sad versus happy induced moods in their approach to a word memory task. Recall is known to be enhanced when both item-level and relational processing are used (Hunt & Einstein, 1981). Two word lists, one easy to categorize (evoking relational processing) and one harder to categorize (evoking item-level processing) based on Hunt and Einstein (1981) are used in a 2x2 (induced mood by word list) between-participants factorial design.
Experiment 1 supports the hypothesis that a happy mood leads to a relational processing style (improving recall of the harder-to-categorize word list) and a sad mood leads to an item-level processing style (improving recall of the easy-to-categorize list). This effect was reversed when the source of the induced mood was made salient (attribution condition, Experiment 2) and was mediated by individual differences in preference for a propositional thinking style (Experiment 3). These results cannot be explained by competing theories of mood and cognition, such as the resource allocation model (Ellis & Ashbrook, 1988) or the mood maintenance/mood repair model (Isen, 1987).
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Dienes, Bruce Paul Alexander
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712256
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712256

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