Although intuitive and predicted by the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, previous research has not seriously tested the idea that positive moods can cause sociability. The authors developed a new measure to assess preferences for social (vs. nonsocial) situations, carefully controlling for the fact that social situations are, on average, also more pleasant. Across two additional experiments (combined n = 237), the authors induced positive, negative, and neutral moods with film clips (between-subjects) and found that participants in the positive conditions felt more social (adjective ratings) and indicated stronger preferences for social situations (on the new measure), compared to those in both negative and neutral conditions. Beyond filling an important gap in the empirical record, the authors also explore the implications of this finding for broaden-and-build theory and a large literature linking trait extraversion with happiness.

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Keywords mood, positive affect, sociability, social situations
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Journal Social Psychological and Personality Science
Whelan, D.C. (Deanna C.), & Zelenski, J. (2012). Experimental Evidence That Positive Moods Cause Sociability. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(4), 430–437. doi:10.1177/1948550611425194