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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2006 Feb;135(1):70-7.

Linking automatic evaluation to mood and information processing style: consequences for experienced affect, impression formation, and stereotyping.

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Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Box 90120, 134 Towerview Drive, Durham, NC 27708, USA.


According to the feelings-as-information account, a person's mood state signals to him or her the valence of the current environment (N. Schwarz & G. Clore, 1983). However, the ways in which the environment automatically influences mood in the first place remain to be explored. The authors propose that one mechanism by which the environment influences affect is automatic evaluation, the nonconscious evaluation of environmental stimuli as good or bad. A first experiment demonstrated that repeated brief exposure to positive or negative stimuli (which leads to automatic evaluation) induces a corresponding mood in participants. In 3 additional studies, the authors showed that automatic evaluation affects information processing style. Experiment 4 showed that participants' mood mediates the effect of valenced brief primes on information processing.

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