Affect, accessibility of material in memory, and behavior: a cognitive loop?

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1978 Jan;36(1):1-12. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.36.1.1.


Two studies investigated the effect of good mood on cognitive processes. In the first study, conducted in a shopping mall, a positive feeling state was induced by giving subjects a free gift, and good mood, thus induced, was found to improve subjects' evaluations of the performance and service records of products they owned. In the second study, in which affect was induced by having subjects win or lose a computer game in a laboratory setting, subjects who had won the game were found to be better able to recall positive material in memory. The results of the two studies are discussed in terms of the effect that feelings have on accessibility of cognitions. In addition, the nature of affect and the relationship between good mood and behavior (such as helping) are discussed in terms of this proposed cognitive process.

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Attitude
  • Behavior*
  • Cognition*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Female
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*