Mood affects our judgments, but not consistently. For the mood to have an effect on our judgment, it has to override the forces that would normally lead to the 'standard' judgment.
Mood has no effect when:
- We are making judgments that are based on direct retrieval of a simple pre-formed conclusion.
- We are trying to satisfy strong directional goals.
- We are using short-cut methods, such as heuristics, for making
- Mood sneaks in at the subconscious level, biasing our judgments without us noticing. At this level we typically use 'How would I feel?' type of evaluations, which are clearly affected by our current mood.
- Elaborate reasoning, where we are using substantive processes.
- Mood is not so strong at the decision level here. It does have an effect, however, at the more detailed level such as when what we recall is biased by our mood.
Using itDo not try to use mood to affect judgments for simple decisions. Create the mood and then distract people or lead them to short-cut decisions. When they are thinking in detail, help them recall information that is congruent to both their mood and also your desired outcome.
DefendingNotice your mood. Beware of hasty decisions. Include a mood check in your analytical decision processes.
Published on ChangingMinds