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This investigation examined the influence of emotional attributions on the relevance of current feelings to judgments of personal satisfaction. In the first three studies, subjects were led to make different attributions for their naturally occurring feelings and then asked to judge their personal satisfaction. Satisfaction was higher after situational and specific attributions than after general and self-referential attributions, but only in domains that were unrelated to the causes to which subjects attributed their feelings. Study 4 tested whether affective states such as emotions with clearly defined causes are less relevant to judgments of life satisfaction than more diffuse states such as moods. Satisfaction was elevated after a laboratory mood induction only when subjects were led to focus on their moods in ways characteristic of emotional states (by articulating specific causes and labels for their feelings). These studies illuminate the role of emotional attribution in judgments of personal satisfaction.
<p>Abstract Two studies examined whether emotional comparison and distraction with emotion congruent and incongruent art would improve the well-being of dysphoric undergraduates. In both studies, subjects: (1) imagined a sad event; (2) compared their mood to that expressed by incongruent art (upward comparison) or congruent art (downward comparison); or focused on technical features of incongruent art (incongruent distraction) or congruent art (congruent distraction); and (3) rated their emotions and life satisfaction. The incongruent distraction group reported feeling more positive and more satisfied, and the downward comparison group reported feeling more satisfied, than the upward comparison or congruent distraction groups. Thus, comparison and distraction can improve well-being when directed towards emotion congruent and incongruent art, respectively.</p>