The present research examined the influence of ambient lighting on approach-oriented motivation and emotion. Because darkness is associated with inactivity, the authors hypothesized that dark (vs. bright) environments would lower approach motivation. Consistent with this, participants in Experiment 1 (N = 80) reported less approach motivation in a dark (vs. bright) room. In Experiment 2 (N = 112), state anger –an approach-oriented emotion-was reduced among participants high (vs. low) on trait anger when participants were interviewed in a dark (vs. bright) environment. Subtle variations in ambient lighting may thus moderate approach-oriented motivations and emotions. These findings could have broad implications for understanding how environmental conditions may regulate human motivation and emotion.
- Approach/avoidance motivation
- Emotion regulation
- Situated social cognition