The Manipulation of Emotion: A Meta-Analysis of Mood Induction Procedures


Joseph, D. L., Chan, M. Y., Heintzelman, S. J., Tay, L., & Diener, E. (2018). The Manipulation of emotion: A meta-analysis of mood induction procedures. Unpublished manuscript.


Mood inductions have been a popular tool for testing psychological phenomena and have become essential for testing theories of emotion and for conducting experimental research on the effects of emotion. The current review takes stock of the vast body of existing literature on mood induction procedures (MIPs) to evaluate the effectiveness of these procedures as a research tool and to test theories of emotion (e.g., the bipolarity hypothesis, negativity bias, positivity offset, and theories of emotionality and gender) using meta-analytic data. In doing so, we seek to address whether MIPs are effective for inducing emotions, what conditions maximize their effectiveness, for what emotions they are most effective, for whom they are most effective, and whether mood induction findings can provide insight into theories of emotion. Results of 627 samples and 36,195 participants suggest that mood inductions are effective on average (δ = 1.24), but this effectiveness varies with the type of mood induction, the emotion being induced, the sex of the participants, the geographic region of the sample, and whether the sample was from a clinical population. Further, results indicate coupled activation where the induction of positive (negative) emotions led to a corresponding reduction in negative (positive) emotions, which provides support for the bipolar continuum of positive and negative emotions. Results also revealed a negativity bias when attending to negative stimuli. A practical guide in the choice of mood induction procedures for researchers is presented and implications for emotion theory are discussed.

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