THE EFFECTS OF NATURALLY OCCURRING MOODS AND INDUCED MOODS ON READING COMPREHENSION IN A SCHOOL SETTING

BARBARA A TAYLOR, Fordham University

Abstract

This investigation attempted to study the effects of mood on reading comprehension in high school students. Previous research reveals two conflicting paradigms for the effects of mood on learning. One body of research indicates that elated mood might aid in learning pleasant material, depressed mood might aid in learning unpleasant material, and unlike mood and material hinder learning. The second paradigm indicates that elated mood might enhance learning while depression might inhibit learning. These different results seem to be related to the different methods used to elicit mood, so methods were also investigated. A total of 244 eleventh graders participated in a reading comprehension task during a regular class period. Three methods of mood elicitation were used. One-third had mood induced through the use of social reinforcers (a gift and a fine). One-third had mood induced by listening to a tape asking them to recall happy or sad events. One-third had no mood manipulation. Subjects rated their moods on a modified Wessman and Ricks' Elation vs. Depression Scale (following mood induction, if used), then read a pleasant or unpleasant story and answered comprehension questions about the reading selection. Reading ability was covaried using a standardized instrument. Subsequently, the reading comprehension scores were evaluated for influence by mood, condition, and story tone. Reported mood was also measured. The findings revealed that: (a) induced mood was not comparable to natural mood; (b) socially induced mood did not effect reported mood or comprehension; (c) recall induction influenced reported mood but did not effect comprehension; (d) elated students did well on the pleasant story and did poorly on the unpleasant story; (e) depressed students were not influenced by story tone, but (f) natural depressed students did better on the pleasant story; (g) elated students did not do better than depressed students; and (h) all students tended to do better on the pleasant story. Recommendations were made regarding the continuation of studies on the effects of induced mood, and of the effects of natural mood on learning complex pleasant and unpleasant material in a regular school setting. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

TAYLOR, BARBARA A, "THE EFFECTS OF NATURALLY OCCURRING MOODS AND INDUCED MOODS ON READING COMPREHENSION IN A SCHOOL SETTING" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8600109.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8600109

Share

COinS