When an individual is in a good mood, he/she makes better judgments than an unhappy person.
In a new multi-campus study, authors looked at how mood, emotions and feelings influence an individual’s decision making – specifically, if an object is liked or disliked.
The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
The authors manipulated study participants’ moods by showing them pictures of likable objects (puppies) or unpleasant images (diseased feet) or asking them to recall pleasant or unpleasant events from the past.
After these “affect inductions” the participants viewed pictures of common objects one at a time.
They then choose from a list of evaluative adjectives, positive and negative, which were presented in a random order.
“Our prior research found that people respond faster to positive adjectives than negative adjectives,” the authors write.
In the study, researchers discovered that people in the positive condition respond more quickly to adjectives, but they also responded more consistently. For example if they responded that they liked an object, they were less likely to respond later that they disliked it.
“These results have implications for how we navigate our world,” the authors said. “The decisions we make about liking or disliking objects around us are fundamental to which things we approach and which things we avoid.”
Practically, retailers who want to a positive shopping environment may want to be aware of factors that can induce negative moods, like abrasive salespeople and negative shopping environments, the authors said.
“The results may also be relevant for understanding consumer responses to new products in which an initial judgment of liking/disliking is critical to the product’s success,” the authors concluded.