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Mood states influence the production of persuasive arguments

Examined the impact of mood on the production of persuasive arguments. It was hypothesized that individuals in a happy (as opposed to sad) mood would produce more original and more persuasive arguments, especially when asked to advocate an unfamiliar (i.e., counterattitudinal) position. 87 college students were put in a happy or sad mood and asked to write a proattitudinal or a counterattitudinal essay on 1 of 2 topics. Happy Ss rated their own essays as being more persuasive than sad Ss did. External ratings revealed, however, that happy Ss' essays were judged to be more persuasive when they were counterattitudinal but not when proattitudinal. Thus, support for the hypothesis was found with respect to judged persuasiveness but not to originality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)