Effectiveness of precise and less precise arguments in the wake of happy mood
Abstract: This study aims to investigate how people agree to precise and less precise arguments and if happy mood affects the agreement to precise and less precise arguments. Four hundred and forty three participants were recruited through Facebook and were randomly divided into the two conditions happy mood condition and neutral mood condition. Participants in both conditions read a scenario where an eyewitness saw a man selling drugs in a club. Eyewitness’ credit card showed that she had consumed X (2 or 5) glasses of wine. Later the participants read either one of the arguments from the defense lawyer. A precise argument that “the witness is not trustworthy because she has consumed X (2 or 5) glasses of wine”. A less precise argument that “the witness is not trustworthy because she was under the influence of alcohol”. Happy and neutral mood was induced with text. People in the happy mood condition read a story about a professor and his students and people in the neutral mood condition read a story about the universe. The results show that there is no difference in how much people agree to precise or less precise arguments. The results also show that happy mood condition did not differ from the neutral mood condition in terms of the participant’s agreement to the two types of arguments. The reason for these results can be that the mood induction was not successful.
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