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Mood and persuasion: A cognitive response analysis

This reprinted article originally appeared in (Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 1990, 16[2], 331-345). (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 1990-27521-001.) Conducted 2 experiments with 162 female university students to examine the impact of happy and sad moods on the processing of persuasive communications. In Exp 1, sad Ss were influenced by a counterattitudinal message only if the arguments presented were strong, not if they were weak. Happy Ss, however, were equally persuaded by strong and weak arguments, unless explicitly instructed to pay attention to the content of the message. The parallel pattern of Ss' cognitive responses suggests the impact of mood on cognitive elaboration of the message. In Exp 2, working on a distractor task during message exposure eliminated the advantage of strong over weak arguments under bad-mood conditions. Good-mood Ss were not affected by a distracting task, suggesting that they did not originally engage in message elaboration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)