Diffuse affect as regulator of attitude and behavior processes
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RU Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 15 januari 2007
Promotor : Knippenberg, A.F.M. van Co-promotor : Holland, R.W.
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
The influence of diffuse affect (or mood) on automatic attitude activation and the attitude behavior link was examined. Positive mood induces an intuitive processing style, while negative mood elicits a rather deliberative and cautious processing style. Due to a cautious processing style in negative mood, in several studies it was found that quick responding to automatically activated attitudes is suppressed in negative mood as measured with several automatic evaluation paradigms like evaluative priming. In positive mood, however, a standard automatic evaluation effect was found (i.e., quick responding to automatically activated attitudes). In a second line of research the influence of mood on the attitude-behavior link was studied. As negative mood leads to more deliberative information processing and less reliance on automatic evaluations it was expected that explicit (or belief-based attitudes) would be a good predictor for behavior, while the relation between implicit attitudes and behavior would be weak. On the other hand, as positive mood leads to intuitive processing implicit attitudes should predict behavior more strongly than explicit attitudes. Several studies using different attitude objects and behavior confirmed these hypotheses. The two lines of research show that negative mood elicits a tendency to suppress quick responding to automatically activated information, while positive mood does not. Consistently, the relation between implicit attitudes and behavior is weak in negative mood, but strong in positive mood. Belief-based attitudes predict behavior in negative mood, rather than in positive mood.
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