Positive mood and future-oriented self-evaluation

Ben Gervey, Eric R. Igou, Yaacov Trope

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


When individuals think about their future, feedback on their strengths and weaknesses may often serve as a useful source of information. Three studies investigated the influence of positive and neutral moods on feedback seeking. In Studies 1 and 2, positive mood increased interest in feedback about weaknesses when this information was useful for self-assessment and self-improvement. But when the feedback was not useful for these superordinate, long-term goals then positive mood directed participants' interest to strength-focused feedback, thereby serving short-term, affective concerns (e.g., feeling good about oneself). Study 3 directly manipulated self-evaluative goals. When a learning goal was activated, positive mood increased interest in weaknesses-focused feedback, but when an affective goal was activated, positive mood increased interest in strength-focused feedback. These results support our hypothesis that positive mood attunes individuals to the relationships of goals and means, thus promoting actions that serve primary goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-296
Number of pages28
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Feedback seeking
  • Mood as a resource
  • Positive mood
  • Self-evaluation
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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