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Moods and Expectations

When thinking about the future or making decisions, we retrieve information from our long-term memory. However, the way we view that information is affected by the mood we are in. This in turn affects the quality of our predictions about the future.

When examining the effect of moods on decisions, it is common for psychologists to have their subjects write an essay about a very sad or very happy event in their lives. Reliving the event through the writing puts the subjects in bad or good moods respectively. This mood appears to affect the subjects' predictions about the future. People in bad moods are more pessimistic about the future than are people in good moods. That is, the subjects in a good mood give a higher probability of good things happening and a lower probability of bad things happening.


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