The effects of mood on game learning and analogical transfer in a disguised Tower of Hanoi task

Russell, Yvan I. ORCID:, Gobet, Fernand and Whitehouse, Harvey (2009) The effects of mood on game learning and analogical transfer in a disguised Tower of Hanoi task. In: Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation (CEM 09) International Congress., Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


Background: Mood is defined as a ‘background’ emotional state that “rises and dissipates slowly” (Beedie, Terry, & Lane, 2005, p. 871). A person’s mood influences the ability to learn information and then apply it to other contexts (i.e. analogical transfer). Previous studies indicated that persons in a euphoric (“happy”) mood process information differently than persons in a dysphoric (“unhappy”) mood (Bless, Clore, Schwarz, Golisano, Rabe, & Wolk, 1996). Individuals in a euphoric state appear to be better at analogical transfer (Brand & Opwis, 2007). In this study, we consider the extent to which prior knowledge affects mood-contingent performance in an analogous Tower of Hanoi task. Method: There were four conditions (1): Euphoric-Expert, (2) Dysphoric-Expert, (3) Euphoric-Nonexpert, (4) Dysphoric-Nonexpert. “Euphoric” individuals were shown a 10 minute excerpt from a comedy. “Dysphoric” individuals were shown a 10 minute excerpt about a nuclear war attack. There were four manipulation checks during the study to guage the participant’s mood (“Affect Grid”, Russell, Weiss, & Mendelsohn, 1989). In the “expert” condition, the participant played the Tower of Hanoi (TOH) game (Kotovsky & Fallside, 1989) and then played an obfuscatory isomorph of the TOH called the “Bear-God task” (cf. Hayes & Simon, 1974). In the “nonexpert” condition, the procedure was the same, except that the participant played the “Missionary and Cannibal” game (Thomas, 1974) – a game with a different set of rules from the TOH. Here, the participant plays the “Bear-God task” without an opportunity to transfer the principles from the earlier game. Results: The prediction is that mood will enhance analogical transfer. Interpretations and implications: The results have implications for many learning situations, including that of the role of mood in transmitting religious information successfully and ensuring that people apply the information to all aspects of their lives

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 18292
Depositing User: Yvan Russell
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 09:16
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:37

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