Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 343–353 | Cite as

Effects of induced mood on causal attributions for success and failure

  • Jonathon Brown


The present research examined the influence of induced mood on causal perception and goal expectancies for an achievement-oriented activity. Prior to the administration of a laboratory task, positive and negative moods were experimentally induced in student volunteers. It was found that elated subjects were initially more confident of success than subjects temporarily made to feel depressed. Furthermore, following the receipt of bogus success/failure feedback, individuals in a positive mood perceived the causes of success as more stable than subjects in a negative mood. In addition, the judgments of elated subjects appear to have been biased in a self-enhancing direction following success, but outcome had no effect on the causal attributions of subjects temporarily induced to feel depressed. The findings indicate that prevailing affective state is an important determinant of causal perception, and suggest that mood may play a central role in the accurate or biased perception of valenced outcomes.


Social Psychology Important Determinant Affective State Negative Mood Positive Mood 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathon Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles

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