Mood induction effects upon goal setting and performance in young children

Abstract

The purpose of the present investigation was to demonstrate that goal setting varies with happy/sad mood-induced states in young children. In turn, on the basis of current Goal Setting Theory, it was predicted that goal level mediates the child's subsequent performance. Young children were assigned randomly to either happy or sad mood induction states, were asked to set their own goals, and then performed the task. In light of the findings, mood state was manipulated effectively in the children, with the following result: A happy mood state produced a significantly higher goal and superior performance than a sad mood state. However, no strong evidence was provided for the notion that goal setting mediated the impact of mood induction upon performance. The developmental implication of these findings are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Alloy, L. B., Abramson, L. Y., & Viscusi, D. (1981). Induced mood and the illusion of control.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41 1129–1140.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change.Psychological Review, 84 191–215.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bandura, A., & Cervone, D. (1983). Self-evaluative and self-efficacy mechanisms governing the motivational effects of goal systems.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45 1017–1028.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Barnett, M. A., King, L. M., & Howard, J. A. (1979). Inducing affect about self and other: Effects on generosity in children.Developmental Psychology, 15 164–167.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bartlett, J. C., Burleson, G., & Santrock, J. W. (1982). Emotional mood and memory in young children.Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 34 59–76.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bower, G. H. (1981). Mood and memory.American Psychologist, 36 129–148.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being.Psychological Bulletin, 95 542–575.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Hom, H. L., Jr., & Arbuckle, B. (1982). [Mood induction effects, goal setting, and performance in young children]. Unpublished raw data.

  9. Isen, A. M., & Means, B. (1984). The influence of positive affect on decision-making strategy.Social Cognition, 2 18–31.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Isen, A. M., & Patrick, R. (1983). The influence of positive affect on risk taking: When the chips are down.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 31 194–202.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Isen, A. M., Shalker, T. E., Clark, M. S., & Karp, L. (1978). Affect, accessibility of material in memory, and behavior: A cognitive loop?Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36 1–12.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Kavanagh, D. J., & Bower, G. H. (1985). Mood and self-efficacy: Impact of joy and sadness on perceived capabilities.Cognitive Therapy and Research, 9 507–525.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Locke, E. A. (1967). Relationship of success and expectation to affect on goal-seeking tasks.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 7 125–134.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Locke, E. A., Shaw, K. N., Saari, L. M., & Latham, G. P. (1981). Goal setting and task performance: 1969–1980.Psychological Bulletin, 90 125–152.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Manucia, G. K., Baumann, D. J., & Cialdini, R. B. (1984). Mood influences on helping: Direct effects or side effects?Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46 357–364.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Masters, J. C., Barden, R. C., & Ford, M. E. (1979). Affective states, expressive behavior, and learning in children.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37 380–390.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Masters, J. C., & Furman, W. (1979). Effects of affective states on noncontingent outcome expectancies and beliefs in internal or external control.Developmental Psychology, 12 481–482.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Masters, J. C., & Santrock, J. W. (1976). Studies in the self-regulation of behavior: Effects of contingent cognitive and affective events.Developmental Psychology, 12 334–338.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Miller, A. T. (1985). A developmental study of the cognitive basis of performance impairment after failure.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49 529–538.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Miller, A. T. (1986).Changes in academic self-esteem in early school years: The role of conceptions of ability. Unpublished manuscript, Southwest Missouri State University.

  21. Moore, B. S., Clyburn, A., & Underwood, B. (1976). The role of affect in the delay of gratification.Child Development, 47 273–276.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Moore, B. S., Underwood, B., & Rosenhan, D. L. (1973). Affect and altruism.Developmental Psychology, 8 99–104.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Nicholls, J. G., & Miller, A. T. (1984). Development and its discontents: The differentiation of the concept of ability. In J. G. Nicholls & M. L. Maehr (Eds.),Advances in motivation and achievement: Vol. 3. The development of achievement motivation (pp. 185–218). Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Rosenhan, D. L., Salovey, P., & Hargis, K. (1981). The joys of helping.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40 899–905.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Rosswork, S. G. (1977). Goal setting: The effects on an academic task with varying magnitudes of incentive.Journal of Educational Psychology, 69 710–715.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Schunk, D. H. (1983). Developing children's self-efficacy and skills: The roles of social comparative information and goal setting.Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8 76–86.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Stipek, D. J. (1984). Young children's performance expectations: Logical analysis or wishful thinking. In J. G. Nicholls & M. L. Maehr (Eds.),Advances in motivation and achievement: Vol. 3. The development of achievement motivation (pp. 33–56). Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Underwood, B., Moore, B. S., & Rosenhan, D. L. (1973). Affect and self-gratification.Developmental Psychology, 8 209–214.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Harry L. Hom Jr..

Additional information

Special thanks are extended to the University Child Care Center, SMSU Child Development Lab, and St. John's Hospital Employee Child Care Center for their help. Barry Arbuckle is enrolled in the graduate program of Child Development and Family Relations Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The authors are grateful to Donn Kaiser, Arden Miller, Richard Fabes, and Robert Cialdini for their comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hom, H.L., Arbuckle, B. Mood induction effects upon goal setting and performance in young children. Motiv Emot 12, 113–122 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992168

Download citation

Keywords

  • Young Child
  • Setting Theory
  • Induction Effect
  • Goal Setting
  • Mood State