Do induced moods really influence health perceptions?

Steven D. Barger, Sarah M. Burke, Megan J. Limbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine whether induced mood alters health reports. Design. Randomized experiments testing a) mood influence on two global self-rated health (SRH) assessments (Study 1; N = 168) and b) testing whether illness relevant thinking moderates the influence of induced negative mood on SRH and physical symptom reports (Study 2; N = 143). Main Outcome Measures. Two global SRH items. Results. Effect sizes for induced mood were near zero across both studies (r's = 0.00-0.07). Aggregate analyses of induced mood studies showed a small adverse effect of induced negative mood on SRH, but these analyses masked roughly equal instances of better SRH among groups with worse mood. Conclusion. Published experimental research shows no consistent pattern of poorer SRH following negative mood induction in college-aged samples. Sample size and gender may account for variation in health ratings among induced mood groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey
  • Mood
  • Negative affect
  • Self-rated health
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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