The impact of positive mood on learning

Tanis Bryan, Sarup Mathur, Karen Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


The primary intent of this study was to examine the effects of a brief positive mood induction on a learning task that stimulates beginning reading acquisition. A secondary intent was to examine the durability of this effect across a period of two weeks. Sixty students, half average-achieving and half with learning disabilities, were randomly assigned to either a positive or a neutral mood induction condition. In an effort to control for the effects of prior knowledge, all students received instruction in elementary Hindi language on a series of five tasks. After two weeks, the instruction and tasks were readministered. The results of a MANCOVA indicated that both groups of students in the positive mood condition performed better than those in the neutral condition, although not statistically so. However, gain scores indicated that across a two-week period, students with learning disabilities in the positive condition performed significantly better than students with learning disabilities in the neutral condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


Cite this

Bryan, T, Mathur, S & Sullivan, K 1996, 'The impact of positive mood on learning', Learning Disability Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 153-162.