Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Jason T. Siegel

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

William D. Crano

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Anna Woodcock

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2023 Catherine E Nylin


affect infusion, dimensions of emotion, emotion carryover, health behavior, perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy

Subject Categories



Introduction: Although self-efficacy is a central construct utilized in health behavior research, existing studies generally overlook the influence of affect (as mood states or specific emotions) on self-efficacy judgments. Those that have examined affect have focused on the influence of positive or negative valence on self-efficacy judgments and have not considered the effects of other appraisal dimensions of emotion. Research from other domains reports that conceptually relevant dimensions of emotion (i.e., that share a conceptual theme with the judgment) produce a dimension-congruent emotion carryover effect, providing information (e.g., control, certainty, responsibility) that is used in subsequent judgments. Although not in the context of health behaviors, the bodies of literature testing the affect infusion model (AIM; Forgas, 1995, 2002) and the appraisal tendency framework (ATF; Lerner & Keltner, 2000, 2001) have been instrumental in detailing the influence of both moods and emotions on judgments. The AIM (Forgas, 1995, 2002) details how affective experiences will result in both informational effects, which produce affect-congruent judgments and behaviors, and processing effects, which produce distinct thinking styles. Further, the AIM (Forgas, 1995, 2002) predicts that characteristics of the judgment target and the social context of decision-making will moderate the relationship between affect and judgments. The ATF (Lerner & Keltner, 2000, 2001) provides a method for examining the influence of appraisal dimensions of emotion on judgments. The theoretical tenets of the AIM (Forgas, 1995, 2002) and the methods of the ATF (Lerner & Keltner, 2000, 2001) provided a blueprint for examining the influence of emotion on self-efficacy judgments. Objectives: Three studies were conducted to examine the influence of the conceptually relevant control dimension of emotion (high control beliefs that events are under one’s own control compared to low control beliefs that events are under another human’s control or situational control) on self-efficacy judgments. Method: The current studies induced positive and negative low control emotions (gratitude, sadness) and high control emotions (pride, anger, guilt) and measured the informational effects and processing effects on self-efficacy judgments. Results: The results of the current studies are in line with the idea that emotion influences the content of self-efficacy judgments (informational effects). In the conceptual pilot study, three constructs important to health behavior models were influenced by the control dimension of emotion, with participants reporting more control over events, more optimistic likelihood judgments, and greater general self-efficacy after re-experiencing a memory high rather than low in control intensity. In Study 1 and Study 2, after exposure to false feedback about a high likelihood of developing a minor health condition, participants across emotion induction conditions reported greater perceived behavioral control (encompassing both health self-efficacy and controllability judgments) when experiencing high control intensity. In Study 2, participants reported greater health behavior intentions following a conscious experience of high control intensity. There was no evidence from any of the studies that the control dimension of emotion influenced level of processing (processing effects), however, Study 1 provided limited evidence that level of processing was moderated by characteristics of the judgment target, as participants reported greater levels of processing when judging unusual as compared to typical health behaviors. Conclusions: Overall, the current studies provide initial evidence that the control dimension of emotion provides cognitive information that is used in subsequent self-efficacy, perceived behavioral control, and health behavior intention judgments, and should be further explored in relation to health behavior adoption and change.



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