Current Psychology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 58–64 | Cite as

Emotion and the False Consensus Effect

  • Martin D. ColemanEmail author


The influence of emotion on the false consensus effect was investigated. Participants were recruited from an undergraduate population. There were 210 participants (89 male) with a mean age of 19.25 years. The study took place online. Participants made a choice between two forms of vacation, and were induced to feel an emotion (happiness, neutral, or sadness). They were then asked to estimate the percentage of people who would opt for either the same choice as them or the alternate choice, and to make an attribution for this predicted behavior. Results revealed a false consensus effect (estimates of a vacation’s popularity were higher from participants who preferred that option than from participants who preferred the alternative option), an influence of emotion on consensus estimates (participants experiencing happiness made higher estimates of consensus than participants experiencing sadness), and an influence of emotion on attribution. Results were consistent with valence-based theoretical accounts of emotional influence.


Attributions Emotions Judgment Decision making 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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