Enhancing interpersonal communication: Positive mood effects
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I tested the possibility that positive affect would promote the design of effective interpersonal communication. Participants were 44 male and 96 female undergraduates at a mid-sized university in the Southeastern United States, who were induced to experience positive or neutral affect and were then asked to design communications relating to 15 abstract stimuli. Results indicated that, compared with the participants who had experienced neutral affect, those in a positive mood constructed messages that contained greater detail and more literal information for another person (vs. messages intended for their own use at a later time). This suggests that those experiencing positive affect made adjustments to account for the perspective of the recipient. That effect was not observed for participants experiencing a neutral mood. My findings suggest that effective interpersonal communication depends, in part, on the affective state of the communicator.