Time focus and mood report: Relations between momentary and generalized ratings of affect

Brian Parkinson, Rob B. Briner, Shirley A. Reynolds, Peter Totterdell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A computerized diary method was used to investigate relations between momentary and generalized affect reports. Thirty participants rated current mood at 2-hourly intervals and gave retrospective reports of daily and weekly mood for a 2-week period. Average momentary ratings provided a closer estimate of daily mood than either peak or most recent momentary ratings. Similarly, average daily mood indexes tended to give the best estimates of weekly mood. However, for positive (but not negative) mood, daily reports were consistently higher than average momentary ratings, and weekly reports were consistently higher than average daily ratings. Regression analyses suggested that daily ratings were influenced mainly by average momentary mood but that independent effects of peak and most recent momentary mood were detectable too. Retrospective reports of daily mood were also influenced by current mood. In general, however, memory for affect was rather better than previous research has implied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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