Mood, Persistence, And Success


Department of Psychology, University of Sydney, N.S.W., 2006, Australia


The idea that moods have a strong impact on performance has popular appeal but equivocal research support. In the present study, college students received tape-recorded instructions to recall vividly happy or sad experiences or to imagine a neutral situation. After the induction happy subjects persisted longer at an anagrams task and solved more anagrams than those who were sad. Women were also faster at reaching solutions when happy than in a sad mood. Results confirm our impression that positive moods promote persistence and ultimate success, but they raise questions about the role of self-efficacy and the sources of gender differences.