Mood-regulative hedonic incentive interacts with mood and task difficulty to determine effort-related cardiovascular response and facial EMG
Based on the mood-behavior-model [Gendolla, G.H.E., 2000. On the impact of mood on behavior: an integrative theory and a review. Review of General Psychology, 4, 378-408], we investigated the joint effect of mood-regulative hedonic incentive, mood states, and task difficulty on effort-related cardiovascular response. Cardiovascular and facial EMG reactivity of 80 participants were assessed during a baseline period, mood inductions, and an either easy or difficult memory task with either pleasant or unpleasant consequences of success. For unpleasant consequences, we anticipated that mood would interact with task difficulty to determine cardiovascular response: relatively high reactivity under negative-mood/easy and positive-mood/difficult conditions and relatively low reactivity under positive-mood/easy and negative-mood/difficult conditions. In contrast, we expected for pleasant consequences an increase of cardiovascular response in the negative-mood/difficult condition because here mood-regulative incentive justified the high effort required by a difficult task in a negative mood. Results were generally as expected and facial EMG reactivity indicated efficient mood manipulations. In summary, the findings further support the predictions of the mood-behavior-model.
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