MOOD EFFECT ON RATIONAL AND EXPERIENTIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING: FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF COGNITIVE-EXPERIENTIAL SELF-THEORY
 
Toyosawa, J. and Karasawa, K., Nagoya University, Japan
 
According to the cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST; Epstein, 1994), experiential processing facilities the ratio-bias (RB) effect when the rational and experiential modes are in conflict with each other. Pacini et al (1998) offered the affirmative representation principle to explain the effect of positive and negative representation on RB effect. That is, a positive representation of an event is more concrete and therefore easier to comprehend than a negative representation, and facilitates the use of the experiential system. The purpose of this study was to extend these arguments, and examined the mood effect on the use of the experiential system. In this study, participants were presented two bowls that contained certain number of red beans and white beans, chose the one with which they wanted to play the game, and answered their feelings (e.g., good- bad). In the positive representation condition, drawing read beans led to "win" whereas it led to "lose" in the negative representation condition. Two bowls offered equivalent or almost equivalent probabilities of "win" or "lose", but were different with respect to absolute numbers (e.g., 1 in 10 vs. 10 in 100, 1 in 10 vs. 9 in 100) of the beans. The results showed that positive mood facilitated the use of the experiential system than a negative mood. The discussion argued that the mood produced by a representation, as well as the comprehensibility, may play an important role to promote the use of the experiential system.