Feelings as information: Moods influence judgments and processing strategies

Everyday experience and lay intuition suggest that we see the world as a better place when we feel happy rather than sad. The 1st section of this chapter reviews relevant findings and discusses different process assumptions. Less intuitively obvious is that our moods may also influence which strategy of information processing we use. Yet a growing body of research indicates that happy moods foster reliance on a detail-oriented, bottom-up processing strategy. The 2nd section of this chapter reviews this research. Theoretically, the impact of moods on evaluative judgment and processing style can be traced to the informative functions of affective states, although other processes are likely to contribute as well under specific conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (from the chapter)