Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Amy Gentzler

Committee Co-Chair

William Fremouw

Committee Member

Aaron Metzger.


The present study examined how mood influences perception of facial expressions, and how emotion perception predicts differences in social interactions, in a sample of 75 young adults (49 females and 26 males, 18--37 years of age). Participants were assigned to one of the two experimental conditions in which they recalled a personally meaningful emotional event (positive vs. negative). They then completed an emotion perception task that assessed their recognition accuracy and perceived intensity of emotions. At the end of the study, they also engaged in a social interaction with a same-sex confederate while being unobtrusively observed. The results did not support the mood-congruity effect on perception of emotional expressions. However, negative mood impaired participants' performance in recognizing neutral expressions. Individuals also perceived neutral expressions as more negative after mood induction. There was evidence that mood influenced the amount of additional comments and positive affect exhibited during the social interaction and that perceived intensity of negative emotions predicted more prolonged eye contacts with the confederate. However, the present study did not find evidence of moderating or mediating effects of emotion perception on how mood influences social interaction. Limitations and future directions were also discussed.