How Positive and Negative Moods Affect Perspective Taking
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The effects of mood on perspective-taking are studied in an experiment with 31 students from University of Michigan that used films to induce positive, negative, and neutral moods, and measured perspective-taking with a task (writing numbers and letters on a note card backwards so that the experiment could read them from their point of view). The experiment also exposed subjects to subliminal messages designed to increase “closeness” to the University of Michigan, which was measured with the Inclusion of Other in the Self Scale (IOS). It was hypothesized that (1) participants in the positive mood group perform better than the other groups on the perspective-taking task, (2) students in the positive mood group will feel closer to University of Michigan by the end of the experiment, and (3) that closeness to the University of Michigan would mediate their relationship; however, the three hypotheses were not supported, in fact, positive moods seemed to impair the subjects performance on the perspective-taking task.