The current study examined, on the basis of past findings and theories on mood and cognition, whether people’s perception of sexual interest from others would decrease when they are in a negative mood and increase when they are in a positive mood. Using repeated-measures experiments, university students in Switzerland (n = 117) and Malaysia (n = 117) underwent mood inducement procedures followed by participation in video-guided imagined interactions, where they judged the sexual interest of their interaction partners. Results revealed a dampening effect of negative mood on sexual perceptions in the Swiss sample. No significant mood differences in sexual perception were found in the Malaysian sample. Our results suggest that this sample difference may be associated with differences in endorsement of cultural values. The more people valued social harmony and stability, the less likely they were to succumb to mood effects on sexual perception.
- sexual interest