Beyond Hedonism and Associationism: A Configural View of the Role of Affect in Evaluation, Processing, and Self-Regulation

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Most existing models assume that negative moods are more likely than positive moods to (a) induce recall of negatively toned information, (b) lead to less favorable evaluations, (c) induce more systematic but less flexible processing, and (d) arouse a desire to change the mood. A series of studies is discussed in which each of these effects and its opposite are obtained. The consistent pattern of data in these studies supports a configural, as opposed to a simple hedonistic or associationistic, view of mood. From the configural perspective, people do not seek positive moods; they seek positive outcomes. And, in some contexts, these outcomes can be signaled by a negative mood.

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