Schwarz, N. & Clore, G. L., Mood, Misattribution, and Judgements of Well-Being: Informative and Directive Functions of Affective States. JPSP, 1983,45,513-523

The researchers found in this study that people's judgements of happiness and satisfaction can be influenced by their mood (either weather related or by induced methods). However, they could eliminate negative feelings by having the subjects misattribute the cause of their mood to another source. Subjects with good feelings were affected by the misattributions.

Previous studies have showed that people used their current moods to make judgements, and moods can direct one's attention to the causes for those feelings.

When thinking sad thoughts, it may bring up other sad memories, causing people to overestimate their frequency in their lives.

However, it seems that the default state is "happy" and people don't look for reasons as to why they are happy.

In experiment one they set up various conditions of mood-inducing and misattribution:
1. Positve and Negative events; some were asked to describe a positive life event, others a negative event, and a control group that weren't asked at all.
2. Tense or Elated Soundproof room: Some were told the soundproof room would make them feel elated, some make them feel tense, and one group received no misattribution. The control group didn't use the soundproof room at all.

Each participant completed a questionnaire in which questions about happiness and life satisfaction (buried in a bogus study) were asked.

Recounting a positve or negative event clearly had an impact on happiness and satisfaction scores.

Also, the level of effect the negative feelings had was dependent on whether they were told the room would make them tense, elated, or told nothing. People who were told the room would make them tense attributed negative feelings to the room and thus rated happiness higher than the other two groups. This effect was not see with the positive-induced groups.

The second experiment was in more of a natural setting. They conducted phone interviews in a 2x3 experiment with the following conditions:

1. Sunny vs Rainy Day
2. Indirect priming: The subjects were asked "Hows the weather there" before asking happiness questions.
3. Direct priming: The subjects were told the study was to measure the effects of weather on mood.
4. No-priming: No weather questions were asked.

Clearly, people felt happier on sunny days than rainy days. Again, the priming conditions improved happiness on rainy days (by misattribution) but had no effect on sunny days.

"Persons appear to seek personally irrelevant explanations for an unpleasant mood state when such explanations are available"

People seek explanations for unpleasant moods because they feel they are deviations from their more normal positive mood.