Disarming darkness: Effects of ambient lighting on approach motivation and state anger among people with varying trait anger

Lotte Veenstra, Sander L. Koole*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume60
Early online date25 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Approach/avoidance motivation
  • Emotion regulation
  • Situated social cognition

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