Mood (psychology)

In psychology, a mood is an emotional state. In contrast to emotions, feelings, or affects, moods are less specific, less intense and less likely to be provoked or instantiated by a particular stimulus or event. Moods are typically described as having either a positive or negative valence. In other words, people usually talk about being in a good mood or a bad mood.

Mood also differs from temperament or personality traits which are even longer-lasting. Nevertheless, personality traits such as optimism and neuroticism predispose certain types of moods. Long term disturbances of mood such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder are considered mood disorders. Mood is an internal, subjective state but it often can be inferred from posture and other behaviors. "We can be sent into a mood by an unexpected event, from the happiness of seeing an old friend to the anger of discovering betrayal by a partner. We may also just fall into a mood."[1]

Research also shows that a person's mood can influence how they process advertising.[2][3] Mood has been found to interact with gender to affect consumer processing of information.[2]


Etymologically, the word mood derives from the Old English mōd which denoted military courage, but could also refer to a person's humor, temper, or disposition at a particular time. The cognate Gothic mōds translates both θυμός "mood, spiritedness" and ὀργή "anger".

Types of mood

Positive mood

Positive mood can be caused by many different aspects of life as well as have certain effects on people as a whole. Good mood is usually considered a state without an identified cause; people cannot pinpoint exactly why they are in a good mood. People seem to experience a positive mood when they have a clean slate, have had a good night sleep, and feel no sense of stress in their life.

There have been many studies done on the effect of positive emotion on the cognitive mind and there is speculation that positive mood can affect our minds in good or bad ways. Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking.[4] Some studies have stated that positive moods let people think creatively, freely, and be more imaginative. Positive mood can also help individuals in situations in which heavy thinking and brainstorming is involved. In one experiment, individuals who were induced with a positive mood enhanced performance on the Remote Associates Task (RAT), a cognitive task that requires creative problem solving.[5] Moreover, the study also suggests that being in a positive mood broadens or expands the breadth of attentional selection such that information that may be useful to the task at hand becomes more accessible for use. Consequently, greater accessibility of relevant information facilitates successful problem solving. Positive mood also facilitates resistance to temptations, especially with regards to unhealthy food choices.[6]

Positive mood has also been proven to show negative effects on cognition as well. According to the article "Positive mood is associated with implicit use of distraction", "There is also evidence that individuals in positive moods show disrupted performance, at least when distracting information is present".[7] The article states that other things in their peripheral views can easily distract people who are in good moods; an example of this would be if you were trying to study in the library (considering you are in a positive mood) you see people constantly walking around or making small noises. The study is basically stating that it would be harder for positive moods to focus on the task at hand. In particular, happy people may be more sensitive to the hedonic consequences of message processing than sad people. Thus, positive moods are predicted to lead to decreased processing only when thinking about the message is mood threatening. In comparison, if message processing allows a person to maintain or enhance a pleasant state then positive moods need not lead to lower levels of message scrutiny than negative moods.[8] It is assumed that initial information regarding the source either confirms or disconfirms mood-congruent expectations. Specifically, a positive mood may lead to more positive expectations concerning source trustworthiness or likability than a negative mood. As a consequence, people in a positive mood should be more surprised when they encounter an untrustworthy or dislikable source rather than a trustworthy or likable source.[8]

Negative mood

Like positive moods, negative moods have important implications for human mental and physical wellbeing. Moods are basic psychological states that can occur as a reaction to an event or can surface for no apparent external cause. Since there is no intentional object that causes the negative mood, it has no specific start and stop date. It can last for hours, days, weeks, or longer. Negative moods can manipulate how individuals interpret and translate the world around them, and can also direct their behavior.

Negative moods can affect an individual’s judgment and perception of objects and events.[9] In a study done by Niedenthal and Setterland (1994), research showed that individuals are tuned to perceive things that are congruent with their current mood. Negative moods, mostly low-intense, can control how humans perceive emotion-congruent objects and events. For example, Niedenthal and Setterland used music to induce positive and negative moods. Sad music was used as a stimulus to induce negative moods, and participants labeled other things as negative. This proves that people's current moods tend to affect their judgments and perceptions. These negative moods may lead to problems in social relationships.[9] For example, one maladaptive negative mood regulation is an overactive strategy in which individuals over dramatize their negative feelings in order to provoke support and feedback from others and to guarantee their availability. A second type of maladaptive negative mood regulation is a disabling strategy in which individuals suppress their negative feelings and distance themselves from others in order to avoid frustrations and anxiety caused by others' unavailability.

Negative moods have been connected with depression, anxiety, aggression, poor self-esteem, physiological stress and decrease in sexual arousal. In some individuals, there is evidence that depressed or anxious mood may increase sexual interest or arousal. In general, men were more likely than women to report increased sexual drive during negative mood states. Negative moods are labeled as nonconstructive because it can affect a person’s ability to process information; making them focus solely on the sender of a message, while people in positive moods will pay more attention to both the sender and the context of a message. This can lead to problems in social relationships with others.

Negative moods, such as anxiety, often lead individuals to misinterpret physical symptoms. According to Jerry Suls, a professor at the University of Iowa, people who are depressed and anxious tend to be in rumination. However, although an individual's affective states can influence the somatic changes, these individuals are not hypochondriacs.[10]

Although negative moods are generally characterized as bad, not all negative moods are necessarily damaging. The Negative State Relief Model states that human beings have an innate drive to reduce negative moods. People can reduce their negative moods by engaging in any mood-elevating behavior (called Mood repair strategies), such as helping behavior, as it is paired with positive value such as smiles and thank you. Thus negative mood increases helpfulness because helping others can reduce one's own bad feelings.[11]

Factors which affect mood

Lack of sleep

Sleep has a complex, and as of yet not fully elucidated, relationship with mood. Most commonly if a person is sleep deprived he/she will become more irritable, angry, more prone to stress, and less energized throughout the day. "Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood."[12] Generally, evening oriented people, as compared to morning ones, show decreased energy and pleasantness and heightened tension.[13]

However, in a subset of cases sleep deprivation can, paradoxically, lead to increased energy and alertness and enhanced mood. This effect is most marked in persons with an eveningeness type (so called night-owls) and people suffering from depression. For this reason it has sometimes been used as a treatment for major depressive disorder.[14][15]


There is growing evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is related to greater happiness, life satisfaction, and positive mood. This evidence is independent of demographic or health variables including socio-economic status, exercise, smoking, and body mass index (BMI).[16] Further studies have demonstrated a causal link between greater fruit and vegetable intake with feeling calmer, happier, more energetic, and more positive.[17]

Facial expression

Research studies[18] have indicated that voluntary facial expressions, such as smiling, can produce effects on the body that are similar to those that result from the actual emotion, such as happiness. Paul Ekman and his colleagues have studied facial expressions of emotions and have linked specific emotions to the movement of specific facial muscles. Each basic emotion is associated with a distinctive facial expression. Sensory feedback from the expression contributes to the emotional feeling. Example: Smiling if you want to feel happy. Facial expressions have a large effect on self-reported anger and happiness which then affects your mood. Ekman has found that these expressions of emotion are universal and recognizable across widely divergent cultures.


Research indicates that alcohol and energy drinks are associated with mood changes. [19]

Mood disorders

Depression, chronic stress, bipolar disorder, etc. are considered mood disorders. It has been suggested that such disorders result from chemical imbalances in the brain's neurotransmitters, however some research challenges this hypothesis.[20]

Social mood

The idea of social mood as a "collectively shared state of mind" (Nofsinger 2005; Olson 2006) is attributed to Robert Prechter and his socionomics. The notion is used primarily in the field of economics (investments).

In sociology, philosophy, and psychology, crowd behavior is the formation of a common mood directed toward an object of attention.[21]

See also


  1. ^ Schinnerer, J.L.
  2. ^ a b Martin, Brett A. S. (2003). "The Influence of Gender on Mood Effects in Advertising" (PDF). Psychology and Marketing. 20 (3): 249–273. doi:10.1002/mar.10070. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-25.
  3. ^ Martin, Brett A. S.; Lawson, Robert (1998). "Mood and Framing Effects in Advertising" (PDF). Australasian Marketing Journal. 2 (1): 35–50. doi:10.1016/S1441-3582(98)70238-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02.
  4. ^ A positive mood, 2010
  5. ^ Rowe, G.; Hirsh, J. B.; Anderson, A. K. (2007). "Positive affect increases the "breadth" of cognitive selection". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (1): 383–388. doi:10.1073/pnas.0605198104. PMC 1765470. PMID 17182749.
  6. ^ Fedorikhin, Alexander; Patrick, Vanessa M. (2010-01-01). "Positive Mood and Resistance to Temptation: The Interfering Influence of Elevated Arousal". Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. SSRN 2086834.
  7. ^ Biss, R. 2010
  8. ^ a b Ziegler, R. 2010
  9. ^ a b Laceulle, O.M., Jeronimus, B.F., Van Aken, M.A.G., Ormel, J. (2015). "Why Not Everyone Gets Their Fair Share of Stress: Adolescent's Perceived Relationship Affection Mediates Associations Between Temperament and Subsequent Stressful Social Events". European Journal of Personality. 29 (2): 125–137. doi:10.1002/per.1989.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Grudnikov, K. (2011). "Circumstantial Evidence. How your mood influences your corporeal sensations". Psychology Today. 44: 42.
  11. ^ Baumann, Cialdini, & Kenrick, 1981
  12. ^ Dr. Lawrence J. Epstein
  13. ^ Jankowski, K.S. (2014). "The role of temperament in the relationship between morningness-eveningness and mood". Chronobiology International. 31 (1): 114–122. doi:10.3109/07420528.2013.829845. PMID 24144242.
  14. ^ Nykamp K, Rosenthal L, Folkerts M, Roehrs T, Guido P, Roth, T; Rosenthal; Folkerts; Roehrs; Guido; Roth (September 1998). "The effects of REM sleep deprivation on the level of sleepiness/alertness". Sleep. 21 (6): 609–614. doi:10.1093/sleep/21.6.609. PMID 9779520.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Riemann D, Berger M, Voderholzer U; Berger; Voderholzer (July–August 2001). "Sleep and depression - results from psychobiological studies: an overview". Biological Psychology. 57 (1–3): 67–103. doi:10.1016/s0301-0511(01)00090-4. PMID 11454435.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Conner, Tamlin S.; Brookie, Kate L.; Richardson, Aimee C.; Polak, Maria A. (2015-05-01). "On carrots and curiosity: eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life". British Journal of Health Psychology. 20 (2): 413–427. doi:10.1111/bjhp.12113. ISSN 2044-8287. PMID 25080035.
  17. ^ White, Bonnie A.; Horwath, Caroline C.; Conner, Tamlin S. (2013-11-01). "Many apples a day keep the blues away--daily experiences of negative and positive affect and food consumption in young adults". British Journal of Health Psychology. 18 (4): 782–798. doi:10.1111/bjhp.12021. ISSN 2044-8287. PMID 23347122.
  18. ^ Ekman, Paul; Davidson, Richard J. (1993). "VOLUNTARY SMILING CHANGES REGIONAL BRAIN ACTIVITY". Psychological Science. 4 (5): 342–345. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.1993.tb00576.x. ISSN 0956-7976.
  19. ^ Benson, Sarah; Scholey, Andrew (Jul 2014). "Effects of alcohol and energy drink on mood and subjective intoxication: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study". Human Psychopharmacology. 29 (4): 360–9. doi:10.1002/hup.2414. PMID 25163441.
  20. ^ Delgado, P (2000). "Depression: the case for a monoamine deficiency". Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 61: 7–11.
  21. ^ Mood in collective behavior (psychology): Crowds, Britannica Online


Bad Mood

Bad mood may refer to:

Bad mood (psychology)


Cyclothymia, also known as cyclothymic disorder, is a mental disorder that involves periods of symptoms of depression and periods of symptoms of hypomania. These symptoms however are not sufficient to be a major depressive episode or a hypomanic episode. Symptoms must last for more than one or two years.The cause is unknown. Risk factors include a family history of bipolar disorder. Cyclothymia differs from bipolar in that major depression, mania, or hypomania have never occurred.Treatment is generally with counselling and mood stabilizers such as lithium. It is estimated that 0.7% of people have cyclothymia at some point in their life. Onset is typically in late childhood to early adulthood. Males and females are affected equally often.

Emotion classification

Emotion classification, the means by which one may distinguish one emotion from another, is a contested issue in emotion research and in affective science. Researchers have approached the classification of emotions from one of two fundamental viewpoints:

that emotions are discrete and fundamentally different constructs

that emotions can be characterized on a dimensional basis in groupings

Julie Mennella

Dr. Julie Mennella is a biopsychologist specializing in the development of food and flavor preferences in humans and the effects of alcohol and tobacco on women's health and infant development. She currently works at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, PA.

Mental state

A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. It is a relation that connects the agent with a proposition. Several of these states are a combination of mental representations and propositional attitudes. There are several paradigmatic states of mind that an agent has: love, hate, pleasure and pain, and attitudes toward propositions such as: believing that, conceiving that, hoping and fearing that, etc.

Miscarriage and grief

Miscarriage and grief are both an event and subsequent process of grieving that develops in response to a miscarriage. Almost all those experiencing a miscarriage experience grief. This event is often considered to be identical to the loss of a child and has been described as traumatic. "Devastation" is another descriptor of miscarriage. Grief differs from the emotion sadness. Sadness is an emotion along with grief, on the other hand, is a response to the loss a of the bond or affection was formed and is a process rather than one single emotional response. Grief is not equivalent to depression. Grief also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, and philosophical dimensions. Bereavement and mourning refer to the ongoing state of loss, and grief is the reaction to that loss. Emotional responses may be bitterness, anxiety, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust and blaming others; these responses may persist for months. Self-esteem can be diminished as another response to miscarriage. Not only does miscarriage tend to be a traumatic event, women describe their treatment afterwards to be worse than the miscarriage itself.A miscarriage can often be "heart-breaking". A miscarriage can effect the women, husband, partner, siblings, grandparents, the whole family system and friends. Almost all those experiencing a miscarriage go through a grieving process. Serious emotional impact is usually experienced immediately after the miscarriage. Some may go through the same loss when an ectopic pregnancy is terminated. In some, the realization of the loss can take weeks. Providing family support to those experiencing the loss can be challenging because some find comfort in talking about the miscarriage while others may find the event painful to discuss. The father of the baby can have the same sense of loss. Expressing feelings of grief and loss can sometimes be harder for men. Some women are able to begin planning their next pregnancy after a few weeks of having the miscarriage. For others, planning another pregnancy can be difficult. Organizations exist that provide information and counselling to help those who have had a miscarriage. Some women have a higher risk of developing prolonged grief and complicated grief than others.


Mood may refer to:

Mood (psychology), a relatively long lasting emotional state

Grammatical mood, one of a set of morphologically distinctive forms that are used to signal modality

Mood (literature), the affective setting of a piece of literature

Robert Mood (born 1958), a Norwegian general


Optimism is a mental attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favorable, and desirable. A common idiom used to illustrate optimism versus pessimism is a glass filled with water to the halfway point: an optimist is said to see the glass as half full, while a pessimist sees the glass as half empty.

The term derives from the Latin optimum, meaning "best". Being optimistic, in the typical sense of the word, is defined as expecting the best possible outcome from any given situation. This is usually referred to in psychology as dispositional optimism. It thus reflects a belief that future conditions will work out for the best. For this reason, it is seen as a trait that fosters resilience in the face of stress.Theories of optimism include dispositional models, and models of explanatory style. Methods to measure optimism have been developed within both theoretical systems, such as various forms of the Life Orientation Test, for the original definition of optimism, or the Attributional Style Questionnaire designed to test optimism in terms of explanatory style.

Variation in optimism and pessimism is somewhat heritable and reflects biological trait systems to some degree. It is also influenced by environmental factors, including family environment, with some suggesting it can be learned. Optimism may also be linked to health.

Outline of thought

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to thought (thinking):

Thought (also called thinking) – the mental process in which beings form psychological associations and models of the world. Thinking is manipulating information, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions. Thought, the act of thinking, produces thoughts. A thought may be an idea, an image, a sound or even an emotional feeling that arises from the brain.


Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow. An individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic, and withdraw themselves from others. An example of severe sadness is depression, a mood which can be brought on by major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder. Crying can be an indication of sadness.Sadness is one of the "six basic emotions" described by Paul Ekman, along with happiness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust.

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