The influence of positive affect on the unusualness of word associations

Alice M. Isen, Mitzi M. Johnson, Elizabeth Mertz, Gregory F. Robinson
1985 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
A pilot study and two experiments investigated the influence of positive affect, induced in three differing ways, on the uniqueness of word associations. Persons in the positive-affect conditions gave more unusual first-associates to neutral words, according to the Palermo & Jenkins (1964) norms, than did subjects in the control conditions. In Study 3, where word type (positive, neutral, negative) was a second factor along with affect, in a between-subjects design, associates to positive words
more » ... to positive words were also more unusual and diverse than were those to other words. These results were related to those of studies suggesting that positive affect may facilitate creative problem solving and to other work suggesting an impact of positive feelings on cognitive organization.
doi:10.1037//0022-3514.48.6.1413 pmid:4020605 fatcat:yt3ycmlnzzahxoyc7ti4mkvy6a