A mood is a relatively lasting affective state. Moods differ from emotions in that they are less specific, often less intense, less likely to be triggered by a particular stimulus or event, however longer lasting. Moods generally have either a positive or negative valence. In other words, people often speak of being in a good or bad mood. Unlike acute, emotional feelings like fear and surprise, moods generally last for hours or days. Mood also differs from temperament or personality traits which are even more general and long lasting. However, personality traits (e.g. Optimism, Neuroticism) tend to predispose certain types of moods. Mood is an internal, subjective state, but it often can be inferred from posture and other behaviors.
- Thayer, R. E. (1989). The biopsychology of mood and arousal. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.