Velocity Toward Goal Attainment in Immediate Experience as a Determinant of Affect
An experiment tested a model in which affect reflects rate of movement (velocity) toward one's behavioral goal. Participants responded to an ambiguous task and received false feedback regarding their performance. The pattern of feedback either remained fairly constant at 50% correct, went from low incidence of correct to 50% correct across trials, or went from high incidence of correct to 50% correct across trials. Self-reported mood change (from before the task to the point at which all groups received 50% correct) took the following pattern: Participants moving from frequent correct to 50% correct (low velocity) changed to less positive mood, whereas those moving from infrequent correct to 50% correct (high velocity) tended to change to more positive mood. Discussion centers on convergence between these findings and those of previous research.