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Affect Infusion Model

 

Explanations > Theories > Affect Infusion Model

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

Mood affects our judgments, but not consistently. For the mood to have an effect on our judgment, it has to override the forces that would normally lead to the 'standard' judgment. 

Mood has no effect when:

  • We are making judgments that are based on direct retrieval of a simple pre-formed conclusion.
  • We are trying to satisfy strong directional goals.

Mood does have an effect when:

  • We are using short-cut methods, such as heuristics, for making decisions. 
    • Mood sneaks in at the subconscious level, biasing our judgments without us noticing. At this level we typically use 'How would I feel?' type of evaluations, which are clearly affected by our current mood. 
  • Elaborate reasoning, where we are using substantive processes.
    • Mood is not so strong at the decision level here. It does have an effect, however, at the more detailed level such as when what we recall is biased by our mood.

Example

If I know I like bacon, then my mood will not affect my having bacon for breakfast.

So what?

Using it

Do not try to use mood to affect judgments for simple decisions. Create the mood and then distract people or lead them to short-cut decisions. When they are thinking in detail, help them recall information that is congruent to both their mood and also your desired outcome.

Defending

Notice your mood. Beware of hasty decisions. Include a mood check in your analytical decision processes.

See also

Elaboration Likelihood Model, Goal-Setting Theory, Heuristic-Systematic Persuasion Model, Mood-Congruent Judgment, Mood Memory

References

Forgas (1995)

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