Read the passage given below and solve the questions based on it.
Every conscious mental state has a qualitative character that we refer to as mood. We are always in a mood that is pleasurable or unpleasurable to some degree. It may be that bad moods relate to their being too positive reinforcement in a person’s current life and too many punishments. In any case, moods are distinguished from emotions proper by not being tied to any specific object. But, this distinction is not watertight, in that emotions need not be directed at objects that are completely specific (we can be angry just at people generally) while there is always a sense of a mood having a general objective like the state of the world at large. Moods manifest themselves in positive or negative feelings that are tied to health, personality, or perceived quality of life. Moods can also relate to emotions proper, as in the aftermath of an emotional incident such as the failure to secure a loan. A mood on this basis is the mind’s judgment on the recent past. For Goldie, emotion can bubble up and down within a mood, while an emotion can involve characteristics that are non-object specific. What is important for marketing is that moods colour outlook and bias judgements. Hence, the importance of consumer confidence surveys, as consumer confidence typically reflects national mood. There is mood – congruence when thoughts and actions fall inline with mood. As Goleman says, there is a “constant stream of feeling” that runs “in perfect to our steam of thought”. Mood congruence occurs because a positive mood evokes pleasant associations that lighten subsequent appraisals (thoughts) and actions, while a negative arouses pessimistic associations that influence future judgment and behaviour. When consumers are in a good mood, they are more optimistic about buying more confident in buying, and much more willing to tolerate things like waiting in line. On the other hand, being in a mood makes buying behaviour in the “right mood” by the use of music and friendly staff or, say, opens bakeries in shopping malls that delight the passer-by with the smell of fresh bread. Thayer views moods as a mixture of biological and psychological influences and, as such, a sort of clinical thermometer, reflecting all the internal and external events that influence us. For Thayer, the key components of mood are energy and tension in different combinations. A specific mixture of energy and tension, together with the thoughts they influence, produces moods.
He discusses four mood states:
• Calm-energy: he regards this as the optimal mood of feeling good.
• Calm-tiredness: he regards this as feeling a little tired without any stress, which can be pleasant.
• Tense-energy: involves a low level of anxiety suited to a fight-or-flight disposition.
• Tense-tiredness: is a mixture of fatigue and anxiety, which underlies the unpleasant feeling of depression. People generally can “feel down” or “feel good” as a result of happenings in the world around them. This represents the national mood. People feel elated when the national soccer team wins an international match or depressed when their team has lost. An elated mood of calm – energy is an optimistic mood, which is good for business. Consumers, as socially involved individuals, are deeply influenced by the prevailing social climate. Marketers recognize the phenomenon and talk about the national mood being, say for or against conspicuous consumption.
Moods do change, though. Writing early in the nineteenth century, Toqueville describes an American elite embarrassed by the ostentation of material display; in the “Gilded Age”, sixty years later, many were only too eager to embrace a materialistic vulgarity. The problem lies in anticipating changes in national mood, since a change in mood affects everything from buying of equities to the buying of houses and washing machines. Thayer would argue that we should be interested in national events that are likely to produce a move toward a tense-tiredness state or toward a calm-energy state,
since these are the polar extremes and are more likely to influence behaviour. Artists sensitive to national moods express the long-term changes. An example is the long-term emotional journey from Charles Dickens’s depiction of the death of little Nell to Oscar Wilde’s cruel flippancy about it. “One would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of little Nell”, which reflects the mood change from high Victorian sentimentality to the acerbic cynicism of the end of the century, as shown in writers like Thomas Hardy and artists like Aubrey Beardsley. Whenever the mind is not fully absorbed, consciousness is no longer focused and ordered. Under such conditions the mind falls into dwelling on the unpleasant, with a negative mood developing. Csikszentmihalyi argues that humans need to keep consciousness fully active is what influences a good deal of consumer behaviour. Sometimes it does not matter what we are shopping for – the point is to shop for anything, regardless, as consuming is one way to respond to the void in consciousness when there is nothing else to do.
Which one of the following statements best summarizes the above passage?