Mood and Comparative Judgment: Does Mood Influence Everything and Finally Nothing?
Research indicates that mood can influence evaluation of a product when considered in isolation. However, little is known about its influence on comparisons among several alternatives. Four experiments assessed the nature of this influence. When evaluating each option individually upon encountering it, happy participants reported greater preferences for the first encountered option than unhappy participants. When withholding evaluations until having seen all options, however, happy participants reported greater preferences for the last encountered option than unhappy participants. Which comparison strategy was employed, and consequently the impact of mood on preferences, depended on the similarity of choice alternatives in terms of appearance versus descriptive features. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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