What's the Use of Being Happy? Mood States, Useful Objects, and Repetition Priming Effects

Mark C. Goetz, Paul W. Goetz, Michael D. Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments involving 99 undergraduate participants sought to examine the influence of mood states on encoding speed within lexical decision and pronunciation tasks. Mood states were measured naturalistically in Experiment 1 and manipulated in Experiment 2. Stimuli consisted of nouns representing useful (e.g., food) and nonuseful (e.g., lint) objects. Mood states had no implications for initial encoding speed. However, when the same words were presented a 2nd time (i.e., repeated), happy individuals displayed a tendency to encode useful words faster than nonuseful ones. Thus, mood states influenced repetition priming on the basis of stimulus valence. The authors propose that happiness sensitizes individuals to useful or rewarding objects, which in turn creates a stronger memory trace for such stimuli in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-679
Number of pages5
JournalEmotion
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • encoding
  • happiness
  • lexical decision
  • mood
  • priming
  • pronunciation
  • repetition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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