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  • Author: Aleksandra Szymków-Sudziarska x
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Aleksandra Szymkow


Feelings-as-information theory states that feelings inform us about the nature of our current situation and we rely on them to make our judgments. Beyond that, feelings tune our cognitive processes to meet situational requirements. Positive feelings result in relying on pre-existing knowledge structures and default strategies, whereas negative feelings hamper relying on routines and results in adapting systematic processing. Based on this premise, it was hypothesized that positive mood, elicited either by the perceived target or by the independent source, would lead to relying on accessible agentic or communal content in perceiving strangers, as well as familiar others, whereas negative mood would weaken these tendencies. Specifically, the three studies showed initial evidence that (a) positive mood leads to focusing on agencyrelated qualities in perception of unknown men to a greater extent than negative mood, (b) positive mood leads to focusing on communion-related qualities in perception of unknown women more than negative mood, and(c) positive mood leads to relying on communal content in perception of familiar others comparing to negative mood.

Open access

Bogdan Wojciszke, Wieslaw Baryla, Aleksandra Szymków-Sudziarska, Michal Parzuchowski and Katarzyna Kowalczyk

Saying is experiencing: Affective consequences of complaining and affirmation

In four experiments mood was measured before and after complaining or affirmation. Participants complained or affirmed either themselves or listened to such communications of another person. Mood decreased after complaining and increased after affirmation — a "saying is experiencing" (SIE) effect. This effect was found also in the cognitive load condition suggesting that automatic mood contagion underlies the SIE effect rather than mechanisms based on self-perception or self-awareness. Appropriateness of a topic for complaining appeared a boundary condition of the SIE effect: When a topic was considered by participants the most appropriate for complaining, the act of showing dissatisfaction with the topic led to mood improvement.