Lay theories and the correction of mood influences on judgments
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] When people believe their judgments are being unduly influenced by an emotion, how do they attempt to mitigate the influence? This study examined whether people use lay theories to correct for the unwanted influence of an emotion on judgments (Flexible Correction Model) or if they discount the emotional influence (Affect-as-Information), in a conceptual replication of Schwarz and Clore (1983). First, participants (N=293) were randomized and some were given an opportunity to misattribute their feelings to the room via a 'room survey', while others were not. Immediately afterward, some participants given the 'room survey' were also provided lay theories (either accurate or inaccurate) concerning how negative mood would influence their judgments later on. All participants were then induced to be in a negative mood or a neutral mood (control) via a writing task before making judgments of life satisfaction and subjective well-being. We predicted participants would utilize these lay theories about negative mood to correct their judgment of life satisfaction and well-being. Accurate lay theories on the influence of negative mood on judgments were predicted to mitigate the influence of negative mood on judgments, while inaccurate lay theories were predicted to exacerbate the influence of negative mood on judgments. That is, these latter participants were predicted to adjust their judgments, but in the wrong direction. However, these hypotheses were not supported by this study. Not only was there no evidence of judgment correction, but findings also suggest both the negative mood induction and the attribution manipulation failed to influence any of the dependent variables.
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