Toward the self-regulation of mood: Theory and research
- Cite this article as:
- Morris, W.N. & Reilly, N.P. Motiv Emot (1987) 11: 215. doi:10.1007/BF01001412
Moods, defined as diffuse or global feeling states, may lead us to take self-regulatory action designed to maintain them (good moods) or eliminate them (bad moods). This paper first surveys theories that help explain the origin and nature of such feeling states and then goes on to review and evaluate evidence purporting to demonstrate that self-regulation of mood occurs. Some support was found for the idea that people in bad moods will engage in various self-gratifying or self-indulgent acts as “therapy.” Other techniques that appear to be used are alcohol consumption and self-serving cognitive processes. The evidence regarding other sorts of self-regulation is fragmentary and/or anecdotal. It is argued that research on the self-regulation of mood would profit from better theoretical development, and some ideas along these lines are offered.