the human life inside is not worth sustaining sometimes . . . in fact, the pas- sengers can be jerks, and idiots. I am often treated with no respect, nobody lis- tens to me . . . until I threaten to kick them off the plane . . . ” 32 Clearly, if a flight attendant is in a bad mood, it’s going to influence his perceptions of passengers, which will influence his behavior in turn. Importantly, negative emotions are more likely to translate into negative moods. People think about events that created strong negative emotions five times as long as they do about events that created strong positive ones. 33 So, we should expect people to recall negative experiences more readily than positive ones. Perhaps one of the reasons is that, for most of us, they’re also more unusual. Indeed research shows that there is a positivity offset , mean- ing that at zero input (when nothing in particular is going on), most individ- uals experience a mildly positive mood. 34 So for most people, positive moods are somewhat more common than negative moods. The positivity offset also appears to operate at work. For example, one study of customer service rep- resentatives in a British call center (probably a job where it’s pretty hard to feel positive) revealed that people reported experiencing positive moods 58 percent of the time. 35 Sources of Emotions and Moods Have you ever said to yourself, “I got up on the wrong side of the bed today”? Have you ever snapped at a coworker or family member for no particular rea- son? If you have, it probably makes you wonder where emotions and moods come from. Here, we pick up the discussion of moods again because, even though emotions are thought to be more influenced by events than moods, ironically, researchers have conducted more studies on the sources of moods than on the sources of particular emotions. So, now we’ll turn to the main sources of moods, though a lot of these sources also affect emotions. Personality Do you scream at the TV when your team is losing a big game while your friend seems like she could care less that her team has no chance of winning? Consider another situation. Noel and Jose are coworkers. Noel has a tendency to get angry when a colleague criticizes her ideas during a brain- storming session. Jose, however, is quite calm and relaxed, viewing such criti- cism as an opportunity for improvement. What explains these different reac- tions? Personality predisposes people to experience certain moods and emotions. For example, some people feel guilt and anger more readily than others do. Others may feel calm and relaxed no matter the situation. In other words, moods and emotions have a trait component to them—most people have built-in tendencies to experience certain moods and emotions more fre- quently than others do. Consider Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight.
- Fall '13
- Catching Fire, Emotions and Moods