Naturally occurring mood and learning: comment on Hasher, Rose, Zacks, Sanft, and Doren.

Academic Article


  • We comment on the article by Hasher, Rose, Zacks, Sanft, & Doren (1985) in which they failed to find mood-congruent learning (MCL). MCL occurs whenever subjects learn more about materials that are congruent with their moods (e.g., depressed subjects learn more sad material). Hasher et al. failed to observe MCL with normal college students who scored high versus low on the Beck Depression Inventory and an affect checklist; in contrast, positive MCL has been observed with clinically depressed patients and with normals given laboratory mood inductions. Hasher et al. argue that moderately depressed normal students may be qualitatively different from clinically depressed patients and mood-induced subjects. Although we accept the findings of Hasher et al., we think it is also plausible that MCL may be a general though small effect which is present among normal college students as well.
  • Authors

  • Mayer, John D.
  • Bower, GH
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 1985
  • Keywords

  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 3161982
  • Start Page

  • 396
  • End Page

  • 409
  • Volume

  • 114
  • Issue

  • 3