On the naturalistic relationship between mood and entertainment choice.

People are sensitive to economic conditions, buying more during booms and less during recessions. Across seven studies, the present research examines whether the nature of their purchases also changes as diffuse, prevailing mood states shift from positive during boom periods to negative during recession periods. Existing research shows that people primarily strive to improve negative moods, whereas they are willing to encounter threatening information when they experience positive mood states. Consistent with these patterns, we find that people showed a relative preference for lighter cultural products during relatively negative economic times, and, to a lesser extent, were slightly more open to heavier cultural products during boom periods. According to archival dataset analyses, these effects persisted across comedic cartoons, music, books, and films. In 2 lab experiments, writing about boom versus recession periods changed preferences for lighter versus heavier cultural products. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)