Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Arthur Graesser

Committee Member

Sidney D'Mello

Committee Member

Xiangen Hu

Committee Member

Trey Martindale


We all have emotional experiences throughout our day, and multitasking has become similarly commonplace. It is surprising, then, that the effect of mood on multitasking performance and adaptation is not yet understood. In an initial study (Experiment 1; Morgan & D’Mello, in preparation), people in a negative mood had significantly worse multitasking performance than those in positive or neutral moods. However, the impact of mood on adaptation when multitasking is an open question because performance and adaptation may be different constructs. A second experiment examined the relationship between mood and multitasking adaptation under increasing task difficulty. One prediction would be a replication of the results from Experiment 1, with no interaction for positive or negative moods between multitasking phases. In contrast, a number of theories, including the Affect Infusion Model, would predict that differences among moods would not be consistent in the face of increasing task difficulty. The results indicated a replication of Experiment 1, where the negative group was consistently worse at adapting than positive and neutral. However, the individual tasks with mood differences in Experiment 2 (Audio and Visual Monitoring) were not the same as the tasks with mood differences for Experiment 1 (Memory, Math), and required different cognitive abilities. This supports the argument that multitasking performance and adaptation may be separate constructs.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.