Document Type


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Journal Title

The Journal of Positive Psychology

Publication Date



Research in the field of positive psychology has revealed many advantages of positive emotions. According to the undoing hypothesis (Fredrickson & Levenson, 1998), positive affect can undo the physiological effects of negative emotion. The present study examined whether positive emotions could undo the cognitive effects of negative emotion. A letter identification task was used to measure changes in cognitive processing of 86 college students who were induced into a positive, negative, or neutral affective state by viewing various film clips. The results of this study provided preliminary support for the hypothesis that positive emotions undo the cognitive effects of negative emotions.

Publisher Statement

This is an Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Journal of Positive Psychology on August 11, 2009, available online:

Full Citation:

Melissa Falkenstern, Holly H. Schiffrin, S. Katherine Nelson, Lyndsey Ford & Christina Keyser (2009) Mood over matter: can happiness be your undoing?, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4:5, 365-371, DOI: 10.1080/17439760902992415

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