Washington: Shop when you are happier, for a study says that consumers in a positive mood can make quicker and more consistent judgments than unhappy people.

"There has been considerable debate about how affect (moods, emotions, feelings) influences the quality of people's decisions. We join this debate by looking at affects
influence on a very basic element of decision-making: deciding if an object is liked or disliked," lead researcher Bruce E Pfeiffer of the University of New Hampshire said.

The researchers manipulated study participants’ moods by showing them pictures of likable objects (puppies) or unpleasant images (diseased feet) or asking them to recall pleasant or unpleasant events from the past.

After these "affect inductions" the subjects viewed pictures of common objects one at a time. They then chose from a list of evaluative adjectives, positive and negative, which were presented in a random order.

"Our prior research found that people respond faster to positive adjectives than negative adjectives. The present work finds that this difference disappeared for people in the
positive affect conditions," Pfeiffer said.

Not only did people in the positive condition respond more quickly to adjectives, but they also responded more consistently, according to the findings published in the 'Journal of Consumer Research'.

"These results have implications for how we navigate our world. The decisions we make about liking or disliking objects around us are fundamental to which things we approach
and which things we avoid," he said.

Retailers who want to create good shopping conditions may want to be aware of factors that can induce negative moods, like abrasive salespeople and negative shopping environments, say the researchers.