Rethinking the Role of Positive Affect in Self-Regulation1

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This introduction to the two-part special issue reviews recent evidence that suggests that positive mood may play a beneficial, multifaceted, and flexible role in self-regulatory processes that cannot be explained by most current theories. First, under some conditions positive mood seems to facilitate careful processing of goal-relevant information, even negative information. Second, the relation of positive mood to cognition and behavior seems to be strongly moderated by goal-relevant features of the task context. Three frameworks (mood as input, processing advantages conferred by positive mood, and mood as resource) that may account for these facilitating effects of positive mood on self-regulation are discussed.

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