University Of Tasmania
whole_DobberRosemaryCPowell1998_thesis.pdf (15.29 MB)

Mood and health judgements : does the Affect Infusion Model hold?

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posted on 2023-05-26, 22:16 authored by Dobber, RCP
This thesis reports an investigation into the applicability of Forgas's (1992a, 1992c, 1994a, 1995b) Affect Infusion Model (AIM) to health judgments made by healthy people. According to the AIM, the extent of mood influence on judgments depends on the information processing strategy used and the length of processing time. Findings of mood-congruence for some health judgments (Salovey & Birnbaum, 1989) suggested that complex stimuli requiring elaborate processing could be expected to be particularly influenced by mood and hence result in mood-congruent judgments (Forgas, 1994a). A preliminary experiment established suitable audiovisual and autobiographical methods of inducing happy, neutral and sad moods. A programme of seven experiments was conducted which tested the AIM, and more particularly tested the hypothesis that people in an induced sad mood would take longer to process information and make more pessimistic judgments than people in an induced happy mood. In three experiments, happy or sad (and in two of these experiments neutral) moods were induced and health judgments made. The findings lacked consistency with the AIM. Possible methodological issues were examined and ruled out as explanations for lack of affect infusion. A replication of Salovey and Birnbaum's (1989) Experiment 3 on health judgments was run with the addition of the health items developed for the experiments reported in this thesis. There was partial confirmation of Salovey and Birnbaum's findings of reduced optimistic bias for people in a sad mood making judgments of negative health events. A final experiment involved the breaking down of the items of this study into four subtypes to establish under what circumstances affect infused judgments. Processing times were assessed separately for negative and positive items, enabling testing of the processing time aspect of the AIM, in relation to Salovey and Birnbaum's finding of mood effects with negative health judgments. Results again provided partial confirmation of Salovey and Birnbaum's mood-congruence findings. However, even when mood congruence was demonstrated, this was not associated with differences in processing time as predicted by the AIM, either for Salovey and Birnbaum's items or for those developed for this series of experiments. The lack of finding of an association between processing time and mood congruence, when it occurred, indicates difficulties for the AIM. The predictions of the model do not apply in a straightforward way to health judgments made by healthy people. It is suggested that an optimistic bias might sometimes result in motivated processing reducing the likelihood of mood effects in health judgments. An examination of Forgas's model in relation to the Interacting Cognitive Subsystems model (Barnard & Teasdale, 1991) is proposed as an area for further research.


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Copyright 1998 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references

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