The Personality Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire
Overview of Selected Theoretical Work: personality as a scientific discipline • the Systems Framework for personality • personal intelligence • emotional intelligence •ethical commentary on the personality of public figures
Scales of Mood Congruent Judgment (MCJ-A and MCJ-B)
Description of the Mood Congruent Judgment Scales, Forms A and B
Between 1985 and 1992 the lab was involved in the measure of naturally-occuring mood congruent judgment. Mood congruent judgment involves the tendency of people's judgments to be influenced by their moods. For example, when people are in pleasant moods, they retrieve comparatively more pleasant memories and judge the likelihoods of pleasant events as being more likely; when they are in unpleasant moods, they retrieve more negative memories and judge many unpleasant events as being more likley.
During this period of time, the lab developed many different scales of judgment that were designed to measure this shift from pleasant-to-unpleasant evaluation. Among the best of these were the "Scales of Mood-Congruent Judgment," forms A and B, to tau-equivalent measures, of 12 items each. The measures could be administerd quickly and were very responsive to changes in thought patterns.
Such performance scales can be used in various ways, for example as:
- research tools to examine mood-congruent judgment
- non-obtrusive indirect measures of mood itself
- measures of pleasant versus unpleasant thinking
Although the scales are valid they are of only modest reliability. For that reason, they are suitable for measures across people, but should be used with extreme caution -- if at all -- as an assessment device in relation to any specific individual's level of mood-congruent judgment. One exception to the above would occur should measurement involve administration of both scales A and B together (which will increase their reliability somewhat -- assuming that answering all the questions doesn't overly impact the individual's mood).
Report on the Scales and Obtaining the Scales
The scales were reported in (almost) full in:
Mayer, J. D., & Hanson, E. (1995). Mood-congruent judgment over time. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 237-244.
A full copy of the two scales and its scoring is available here.
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