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Mood and judgment: The Affect Infusion Model (AIM)



Evidence for the role of affective states in social judgments is reviewed, and a new integrative theory, the affect infusion model (AIM), is proposed as a comprehensive explanation of these effects. The AIM, based on a multiprocess approach to social judgments, identifies 4 alternative judgmental strategies: (a) direct access, (b) motivated, (c) heuristic, and (d) substantive processing. The model predicts that the degree of affect infusion into judgments varies along a processing continuum, such that judgments requiring heuristic or substantive processing are more likely to be infused by affect than are direct access or motivated judgments. The role of target, judge, and situational variables in recruiting high- or low-infusion judgmental strategies is considered, and empirical support for the model is reviewed. The relationship between the AIM and other affect-cognition theories is discussed, and implications for future research are outlined.