Mood (psychology)
A mood is a relatively long lasting emotional state
Emotion is a complex psychophysiological experience of an individual's state of mind as interacting with biochemical and environmental influences. In humans, emotion fundamentally involves "physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience." Emotion is associated with mood,...

. Moods differ from emotions in that they are less specific, less intense, and less likely to be triggered by a particular stimulus or event.

Moods generally have either a positive or negative valence
Valence (psychology)
Valence, as used in psychology, especially in discussing emotions, means the intrinsic attractiveness or aversiveness of an event, object, or situation. However, the term is also used to characterize and categorize specific emotions. For example, the emotions popularly referred to as "negative",...

. In other words, people typically speak of being in a good mood or a bad mood. Unlike acute, emotional feelings like fear
Fear is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger...

 and surprise
Surprise (emotion)
Surprise is a brief emotional state experienced as the result of an unexpected event. Surprise can have any valence; that is, it can be neutral/moderate, pleasant, or unpleasant. If a person experiences a very powerful or long lasting surprise, it may be considered shock.-Reality...

, moods often last for hours or days.

Mood also differs from temperament
In psychology, temperament refers to those aspects of an individual's personality, such as introversion or extroversion, that are often regarded as innate rather than learned...

 or personality traits
Personality psychology
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. Its areas of focus include:* Constructing a coherent picture of the individual and his or her major psychological processes...

 which are even longer lasting. Nevertheless, personality traits such as optimism
The Oxford English Dictionary defines optimism as having "hopefulness and confidence about the future or successful outcome of something; a tendency to take a favourable or hopeful view." The word is originally derived from the Latin optimum, meaning "best." Being optimistic, in the typical sense...

 and neuroticism
Neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait in the study of psychology. It is an enduring tendency to experience negative emotional states. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, guilt, and depressed mood...

 predispose certain types of moods. Long term disturbances of mood such as depression
Clinical depression
Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities...

 and bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder, historically known as manic–depressive disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or...

 are considered mood disorder
Mood disorder
Mood disorder is the term designating a group of diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system where a disturbance in the person's mood is hypothesized to be the main underlying feature...

s. Mood is an internal, subjective state, but it often can be inferred from posture and other behaviors.


Etymologically, mood derives from the Old English  which denoted military courage
Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation...

, but could also refer to a person's humour, temper, or disposition at a particular time. The cognate Gothic
Gothic language
Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable Text corpus...

  translates both "mood, spiritedness" and "anger
Anger is an automatic response to ill treatment. It is the way a person indicates he or she will not tolerate certain types of behaviour. It is a feedback mechanism in which an unpleasant stimulus is met with an unpleasant response....


Etiology and effects

According to psychologist Robert Thayer, mood is a product of two dimensions: energy and tension. A person can be energetic or tired while also being tense or calm. According to Thayer, people feel best when they are in a calm-energy mood, and worst when in a tense-tired state. People often use food to regulate mood. Thayer identifies a fundamental food-mood connection, and advises against the reliance on food as a mood regulator. The low energy arousal coupled with tension, as experienced in a bad mood, can be counteracted by walking. Thayer suggests walking as a means to enhanced happiness.

A recent meta-analysis
In statistics, a meta-analysis combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses. In its simplest form, this is normally by identification of a common measure of effect size, for which a weighted average might be the output of a meta-analyses. Here the...

 found that, contrary to the stereotype of the suffering artist, creativity
Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new that has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs...

 is enhanced most by positive moods that are activating and associated with approach motivation (e.g. happiness), rather than those that are deactivating and associated with avoidance motivation (e.g. relaxation). Negative, deactivating moods with an approach motivation (e.g. sadness) were not associated with creativity, but negative, activating moods with avoidance motivation (e.g. fear, anxiety) were associated with lower levels of creativity.

Mood is considered to be a long lasting effect that makes a difference in the way you interact with people or external stimuli. "Moods are frequently described as more diffuse and nonspecific". Moods are considered to be mild, different from the concept of an emotion. “Moods are most often described by their valence either positive or negative, happy or sad, good or bad or neutral”. There are mainly two types of moods that people consider; these are positive mood and negative mood.


In sociology, philosophy and psychology crowd
A crowd is a large and definable group of people, while "the crowd" is referred to as the so-called lower orders of people in general...

 behaviour is the formation of a common mood directed toward an object of attention.

Social mood

The idea of social mood as a "collectively shared state of mind" (Nofsinger 2005; Olson 2006) is attributed to Robert Prechter
Robert Prechter
Robert R. Prechter, Jr. is an American author and stock market analyst, known for his financial forecasts using the Elliott wave principle. Prechter is an author and co-author of 14 books, and editor of 2 books , his book Conquer the Crash is a New York Times bestseller...

 and his socionomics. The notion is used primarily in the field of economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

Investment has different meanings in finance and economics. Finance investment is putting money into something with the expectation of gain, that upon thorough analysis, has a high degree of security for the principal amount, as well as security of return, within an expected period of time...


Positive mood

Positive mood can be caused by many different aspects of life as well as have certain effects on people as a whole. People seem to experience a positive mood when they have a clean slate, have had a good night sleep, and feel no sense of stress in their life. "Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem solving and flexible yet careful thinking". Good mood is usually considered a displaced state; people cannot pinpoint exactly why they are in a good mood. "There has been many studies done on the effect of positive emotion on the cognitive mind and there is speculation that positive mood can effect our minds in good or bad ways. Some studies had stated that positive moods let people think creatively, freely, and be more imaginative. People in a positive mood are usually easier to talk to and want to have longer conversations compared to someone who is in a negative or neutral mood. Lastly positive mood can help us in situations where heavy thinking and brainstorming is involved. Positive mood has also been proven to show negative effects on cognition as well. According to the article “Positive mood is associated with implicit use of distraction”, “There is also evidence that individuals in positive moods show disrupted performance, at least when distracting information is present”. The article states that other things in their peripheral views can easily distract people who are in good moods; an example of this would be if you were trying to study in the library (considering you are in a positive mood) you see people constantly walking around or making small noises. The study is basically stating that it would be harder for positive moods to focus on the task at hand. In particular, happy people may be more sensitive to the hedonic
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

 consequences of message processing than sad people. Thus, positive moods are predicted to lead to decreased processing only when thinking about the message is mood threatening. In comparison, if message processing allows a person to maintain or enhance a pleasant state then positive moods need not lead to lower levels of message scrutiny than negative moods. It is assumed that initial information regarding the source either confirms or disconfirms mood-congruent expectations. Specifically, a positive mood may lead to more positive expectations concerning source trustworthiness or likability than a negative mood. As a consequence, people in a positive mood should be more surprised when they encounter an untrustworthy or dislikable source rather than a trustworthy or likable source.

Negative mood

Like positive moods, negative moods have important implications for human mental and physical wellbeing. Moods are basic psychological states that can occur as a reaction to an event or can surface for no apparent external cause. Since there is no intentional object that causes the negative mood, it has no specific start and stop date. It can last for hours, days, weeks, or longer. Negative moods can manipulate how individuals interpret and translate the world around them, and can also direct their behavior.

Negative moods can affect an individual’s judgment and perception of objects and events. In a study done by Niedenthal and Setterlund (1994), research showed that individuals are tuned to perceive things that are congruent with their current mood. Negative moods, mostly low-intense, can control how humans perceive emotion-congruent objects and events. For example, Niedenthal and Setterland used music to induce positive and negative moods. Sad music was used as a stimulus to induce negative moods, and participants labeled other things as negative. This proves that people's current moods tend to affect their judgments and perceptions. These negative moods may lead to problems in social relationships. For example, one maladaptive negative mood regulation is an overactive strategy in which individuals over dramatize their negative feelings in order to provoke support and feedback from others and to guarantee their availability. A second type of maladaptive negative mood regulation is a disabling strategy in which individuals suppress their negative feelings and distance themselves from others in order to avoid frustrations and anxiety caused by others' unavailability.

Negative moods have been connected with depression, anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...

, aggression, poor self esteem, physiological stress and decrease in sexual arousal
Sexual arousal
Sexual arousal, or sexual excitement, is the arousal of sexual desire, during or in anticipation of sexual activity. Things that precipitate human sexual arousal are called erotic stimuli, or colloquially known as turn-ons. There are many potential stimuli, both physical or mental, which can cause...

. In some individuals, there is evidence that depressed or anxious mood may increase sexual interest or arousal. In general, men were more likely than women to report increased sexual drive during negative mood states. Negative moods are labeled as nonconstructive because it can affect a person’s ability to process information; making them focus solely on the sender of a message, while people in positive moods will pay more attention to both the sender and the context of a message. This can lead to problems in social relationships with others.

Negative moods, such as anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...

, often lead individuals to misinterpret physical symptoms. According to Jerry Suls, a professor at the University of Iowa
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public state-supported research university located in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. It is the oldest public university in the state. The university is organized into eleven colleges granting undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees...

, people who are depressed and anxious tend to be in rumination
The term rumination , meaning "to chew the cud," is used in several contexts:-Digestive rumination:* In animals, rumination is a part of normal digestion, in which the animal brings up swallowed food , chews it, and swallows it...

. However, although an individual's affective states can influence the somatic changes, these individuals are not hypochondriacs.

Although negative moods are generally characterized as bad, not all negative moods are necessarily damaging. The Negative State Relief Model
Negative State Relief Model
The negative-state relief model states that human beings have an innate drive to reduce negative moods. They can be reduced by engaging in any mood-elevating behavior, including helping behavior, as it is paired with positive value such as smiles and thank you...

states that human beings have an innate drive to reduce negative moods. People can reduce their negative moods by engaging in any mood-elevating behavior, such as helping behavior, as it is paired with positive value such as smiles and thank you. Thus negative mood increases helpfulness because helping others can reduce one's own bad feelings.
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