Files in this item



application/pdf9953051.pdf (3MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Beyond Heuristic Information Processing: Systematic Processing in Happy and Sad Moods
Author(s):Isbell, Linda Marie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Wyer, Robert S., Jr.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:A new conceptualization of the role of affect in information processing is proposed. In contrast to existing formulations, this conceptualization maintains that mood does not influence the extent to which individuals process information systematically. Rather, mood influences the type of processing that occurs. Five experiments provide support for this conceptualization. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants whose moods were experimentally manipulated formed an impression of a target described by initial trait adjectives followed by a series of behaviors that were both consistent and inconsistent with these adjectives. Happy participants were more inclined than sad participants to use the initial trait descriptions as a basis for evaluating the target. Unlike sad participants, however, they recalled more trait-inconsistent behaviors than consistent ones, indicating that they processed the behavioral information at least as extensively as sad participants did. Experiments 3 and 4, one conducted in the laboratory and the other in telephone interviews, showed that happy participants were more inclined than sad participants to use abstract trait descriptions as a basis for their evaluations of a target even when these descriptions were presented after the behavioral information. Thus, the effect of mood was not simply the result of differences in the tendency to rely on the first information presented. In addition, happy participants in Experiment 4 recalled more trait-consistent than trait-inconsistent information, whereas sad participants recalled equal amounts of both. Finally, Experiment 5 investigated the effects of affect on descriptive information processing in which individuals form trait-based representations of a target. Results revealed that both happy and sad individuals relied on abstract trait representations as a basis for their judgments when they received unfavorable behaviors. However, when they received favorable behaviors, only happy participants relied on this information. Taken together, the results of all five studies suggest that affect can influence the extent to which individuals rely on categorical information and how they process more specific (behavioral) information that has implications for its validity. However, the overall amount of processing that happy and sad participants engage in is similar.
Issue Date:1999
Description:123 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9953051
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1999

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics