I feel good, therefore I am real: Testing the causal influence of mood on state authenticity

Alison Lenton, Letitia Slabu, Constantine Sedikides, Katherine Power

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Although the literature has focused on individual differences in authenticity, recent findings suggest that authenticity is sensitive to context; that is, it is also a state. We extended this perspective by examining whether incidental affect influences authenticity. In three experiments, participants felt more authentic when in a relatively positive than negative mood. The causal role of affect in authenticity was consistent across a diverse set of mood inductions, including explicit (Experiments 1 and 3) and implicit (Experiment 2) methods. The link between incidental affect and state authenticity was not moderated by ability to down-regulate negative affect (Experiments 1 and 3) nor was it explained by negative mood increasing private self-consciousness or decreasing access to the self system (Experiment 3). The results indicate that mood is used as information to assess one's sense of authenticity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCognition and Emotion
Early online date10 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Authenticity
  • Self
  • Mood
  • Personality systems interaction theory
  • Affect infusion model
  • Mood as information


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