Mood effects on the organization of person information

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Abstract

Subjects in a positive, neutral, or negative mood were presented with behaviour descriptions exemplifying different categories to investigate mood effects on the organization of person information. Subjects were instructed either to form an impression about the person performing the behaviours (impression set) or to memorize the behaviours (memory set). Neutral mood subjects showed higher recall and more clustering under impression instructions than under memory instructions, replicating previous findings. Regardless of instructions, subjects in both positive and negative mood showed recall as high as that shown by those in a neutral mood under impression set. Subjects in a positive mood showed considerable clustering regardless of instruction set, whereas subjects in a negative mood showed little clustering regardless of instructional set. Thus, recall appeared to be mediated by different processes in the positive and negative mood conditions. Results are consistent with the interpretation that different affective states influence processing styles which in turn mediate recall.

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