Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Two studies investigated the differential effects of mood on recall. In Study 1 pleasant and unpleasant personality trait words and abstract nouns were encoded in neutral mood and recalled in either induced depressed or induced happy mood. Women recalled more pleasant than unpleasant words when in a happy mood and more unpleasant than pleasant words when in a depressed mood. Men failed to show this effect. Men and women responded equally well to the induction procedures. There were no sex differences in pleasantness ratings of the words to be recalled. A prediction that differential effects of mood on recall would be greater for trait words than abstract nouns was not confirmed. In Study 2 everyday usage ratings were obtained for the trait words from Study 1. Women gave higher usage ratings than men, and, within the women, usage predicted the extent to which a word was preferentially recalled in a congruent mood state. These findings are discussed in relation to the associative network model of mood and memory, sex differences in depression, and cognitive vulnerability to depression. © 1985 American Psychological Association.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Publication Date





1595 - 1608