Review paper on mood and comparative judgement
Choices or preferences to food, clothing, and other basic needs are influenced by many factors to include buying capacity, need, culture even. Research has indicated that moods can influence evaluation of a judgement when considered in isolation (Qui & Yeung 2007). Very recently, Cheng Qiu and Catherine W. M. Yeung, went beyond. They conducted four (4) experiments to research on the effect of moods in the comparative judgement among several alternatives.
To highlight the mood of the participants, a mood induction procedure was conducted prior to the experiment proper. The following were the results of the four (4) experiments:
Experiment 1 – Participants knew that the options differed only in appearance. Happy participants opted to choose the first option presented. Unhappy participants didn’t favorably choose the first one.
Experiment 2 – Participants knew that the options differed in attributes, which created anticipation for all options. Deferment of evaluation was done until after all options have been presented. Consequently, happy participants preferred the last option, while unhappy participants preferred the first option.
Experiment 3 – Participants were subjected to 3 process types: immediate response; delayed response; and no-instruction. All were subjected to 2 flavor types: same flavor & different flavor. Under the no-instruction condition, happy participants chose the first option for the same flavor type, while the unhappy participants chose the second option. The reverse was observed for the different flavor type: happy participants preferred the second option while the unhappy participants preferred the first option.
Experiment 4 – Participants were instructed to evaluate the second option first before the first option. This was done by allowing the participants to recall photos of the 2 options. Participants in no-instruction conditions evaluated the 2nd option more favorably when they were happy than when they were unhappy.
The 4 experiments conducted by Cheung Qiu and Catherine Yeung were systematic enough to yield the following results: mood has a definite influence on choice, contrary to the general assumption that it doesn’t. The effect of mood across comparisons can be attributed to the timing on when these evaluations were conducted. In summary, these findings suggest that the influence of mood on comparison depends on which alternative in a choice set is the one being evaluated first. Happy people select the first option given the same flavor type, and select the last option given different flavor types.
These conclusions already form part of the ever-growing database in the field of Affect, Independent Judgement and Comparative Judgement. On it, other scientists can build and add on, to strengthen and/or disprove hypothesis affecting mood and its influence on choice and selection. Although the authors admit to some minor flaws in the methodologies adopted in the above-stated experiments, they also admit that they can be modified in the future. Thus, credit must be given to them for conceptualizing a hypothesis and conducting a method to prove it.
Qiu, Cheng & Yeung. February 2007, ‘Mood and Comparative Judgement: Does Mood Influence Everything and Finally Nothing? Journal of Consumer Researh,Inc. Vol. 34