Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



There is a tradition of research in affective science suggesting different affective states (e.g., anger vs. anxiety) are associated with relatively unique goals and motives (Frijda, 1986; 1988; Schwarz & Clore, 2007, Lerner & Keltner, 2000; 2001). Although this approach has received considerable empirical support, this work has yet to fully resolve an important issue. For any given type of emotion (say, anger), such feelings can be activated in a variety of different "triggering" contexts. If so, to what extent does the triggering context matter when examining the consequences of that emotion for attitudes? Some findings suggest that context does not matter (Johnson & Tversky, 1983), whereas others imply that context should matter (Frijda, 1988; Smith & Ellsworth, 1985). In my dissertation, I examine the role of context as it bears on the relationship between affect and judgment, across different threatening contexts (terrorism, healthcare). Across 3 Experiments, I find the role of affect, and its effects on attitudes, are contingent on the context in which the affect is activated. These findings demonstrate that the role of context plays an important role in understanding when, if, and in which direction, affect plays a role in shaping attitudes and behavior.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Alan J. Lambert

Committee Members

Hillary A. Elfenbein, Joshua J. Jackson, Michael J. Strube, Heike Winterheld,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7K64GHM