Mood and the use of scripts: Does a happy mood really lead to mindlessness?

Herbert Bless, Gerald L. Clore, Norbert Schwarz, Verena Golisano, et al
1996 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
The authors tested whether happy moods increase, and sad moods decrease, reliance on general knowledge structures. Participants in happy, neutral, or sad moods listened to a "going-out-fordinner" story. Happy participants made more intrusion errors in recognition than did sad participants, with neutral mood participants falling in between (Experiments 1 and 2). Happy participants outperformed sad ones when they performed a secondary task while listening to the story (Experiment 2), but only
more » ... nt 2), but only when the amount of script-inconsistent information was small (Experiment 3). This pattern of findings indicates higher reliance on general knowledge structures under happy rather than sad moods. It is incompatible with the assumption that happy moods decrease either cognitive capacity or processing motivation in general, which would predict impaired secondary-task performance.
doi:10.1037//0022-3514.71.4.665 pmid:8888596 fatcat:75zv3cph7refhhnqtynombeuey