Decision mechanisms underlying mood-congruent emotional classification

Corey N. White, Elad Liebman, Peter Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


There is great interest in understanding whether and how mood influences affective processing. Results in the literature have been mixed: some studies show mood-congruent processing but others do not. One limitation of previous work is that decision components for affective processing and responses biases are not dissociated. The present study explored the roles of affective processing and response biases using a drift-diffusion model (DDM) of simple choice. In two experiments, participants decided if words were emotionally positive or negative while listening to music that induced positive or negative mood. The behavioural results showed weak, inconsistent mood-congruency effects. In contrast, the DDM showed consistent effects that were selectively driven by an a-priori bias in response expectation, suggesting that music-induced mood influences expectations about the emotionality of upcoming stimuli, but not the emotionality of the stimuli themselves. Implications for future studies of emotional classification and mood are subsequently discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2018


  • Drift-diffusion model
  • emotional processing
  • mood
  • music
  • response bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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