Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Emotion. 2011 Aug;11(4):951-7. doi: 10.1037/a0024130.

Positive mood + action = negative mood + inaction: effects of general action and inaction concepts on decisions and performance as a function of affect.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.


General action and inaction concepts have been shown to produce broad, goal-mediated effects on cognitive and motor activity irrespective of the type of activity. The current research tested a model in which action and inaction goals interact with the valence of incidental moods to guide behavior. Over four experiments, participants' moods were manipulated to be positive (happy), neutral, or negative (angry or sad), and then general action, inaction, and neutral concepts were primed. In Experiment 1, action primes increased intellectual performance when participants experienced a positive (happy) or neutral mood, whereas inaction primes increased performance when participants experienced a negative (angry) mood. Including a control-prime condition, Experiments 2 and 3 replicated these results measuring the number of general interest articles participants were willing to read and participants' memory for pictures of celebrities. Experiment 4 replicated the results comparing happiness with sadness and suggested that the effect of the prime's adoption was automatic. Overall, the findings supported an interactive model by which action concepts and positive affect produce the same increases in active behavior as inaction concepts and negative affect.

2011 APA, all rights reserved

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk