The Mood Awareness Scale

 

You can extend the text discussion of the expression of emotion with Handout 11–6, the Mood Awareness Scale (MAS), designed by Alan Swinkels and Traci Guliano to assess people’s attention toward their own mood. Items 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10 measure mood monitoring. In scoring, students should reverse the number given in response to item 10 (1 = 6, 2 = 5, 3 = 4, 4 = 3, 5 = 2, 6 = 1) and then total the numbers in front of all five items. Higher scores reflect greater mood monitoring, that is, the tendency to scrutinize and focus on one’s moods. Items 1, 2, 5, 7, and 9 measure mood labeling. In scoring, students should reverse the numbers given in response to 1, 5, and 9 (1 = 6, 2 = 5,
3 = 4, 4 = 3, 5 = 2, 6 = 1) and then total the numbers in front of all five items. Higher scores reflect greater mood labeling, that is, the ability to identify and categorize one’s moods.

 

Swinkels and Guliano note that while there is no universally accepted statement on the definition of mood (especially in distinguishing it from affect, emotion, or feeling), most researchers regard moods as affective states that are nonspecific, pervasive, and capable of widely influencing cognition and behavior. Ask your students why mood awareness might be important. What might be the consequences of scrutinizing and focusing on one’s mood across situations? Similarly, what might be the consequences of being able to identify and categorize one’s moods?

 

Research findings suggest that, compared with low mood monitors, high mood monitors show greater self-consciousness, are more neurotic, have lower self-esteem, and experience greater negative affect. Com­pared with low mood labelers, high mood labelers tend to be less socially anxious, less neurotic, more extraverted, and more nonverbally expressive, and to experience greater positive affect.

Swinkels, A., & Guliano, T. (1995). The measurement and conceptualization of mood awareness: Monitoring and labeling one’s mood states. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 934–949.