Negative mood induction leads to reductions in autobiographical memory specificity (AMS) and social problem-solving (SPS). The aim was to establish if executive function contributes to changes in AMS and SPS following negative mood induction. Forty-four participants (study 1) completed the autobiographical memory test and measures of executive function (letter & category fluency) before and after a positive or negative mood induction (MI). Forty participants (study 2) completed the means-end problem solving task (MEPS) and (letter & category) fluency tasks before and after a positive or negative MI. In study 1, participants exhibited impaired AMS and fluency performance following a sad MI. Decrease in memory specificity pre-to post-MI was related to reductions in happy mood and letter fluency. In study 2, participants exhibited poorer performance on the MEPS and fluency tasks following a sad MI. Decreases in the number of relevant solutions generated on the MEPS pre-to post-MI was linked to increases in sad mood and decreases in letter fluency. In both studies, the influence of mood became non-significant once the effect of executive function was accounted for, which suggests that changes in AMS and SPS in response to induced mood were related to concomitant changes in executive function.
- Executive function
- Verbal fluency