Forecasting feelings: The accuracy and effects of self-predictions of mood
Totterdell P., Parkinson B., Briner RB., Reynolds S.
This study investigated whether people can predict their own moods and whether mood predictions affect current and subsequent moods. Thirty participants completed a set of self-ratings of predicted moods at the start of each day and each week, and of actual moods and hassles at the end of each day for two weeks. Pooled time-series analysis showed that the participants' predictions were reliably associated with their subsequent moods. However, their predictions explained less than 10% of the variance in daily mood and there were large individual differences in accuracy. Mood was more likely to improve when participants expected it to improve, even after controlling for hassles. Current mood had a greater association with predicted mood than retrospective mood, and with subsequent hassles than previous hassles. The results suggest that self-predictions of mood may initiate processes that regulate and improve people's subsequent moods.