Physical attractiveness, mood, and the decision to card for the purchase of alcohol: Evidence for a mood-management hypothesis 1

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Research has shown that physical attractiveness is associated with a decrease in being carded for the purchase of alcohol. Two studies examine whether this relationship might be moderated by the mood of the decision maker. Participants were randomly assigned to a 2 × 2 (Mood: Positive or Neutral × Attraction: High or Low) factorial design in which they first described a series of positive (or negative) life events, and then viewed a video of a female college student. Males were less likely to card an attractive target than an unattractive target; negative mood increased the tendency for an unattractive target to be carded, and decreased the tendency for an attractive target to be carded. Study 2 considered whether this influence may have been a result of the participant's interest in dating the target. Female subjects rated a female target in terms of their willingness to have the target date their brother or a close friend. Data revealed an interesting mood by attractiveness interaction, indicating that an attractive target was less likely to be carded, and a positive mood state appeared to enhance this general tendency. Results from both studies are interpreted within a mood-management conceptual framework.

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Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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