Examinations: Test Factors Affecting Exam Performance Affective cues and processing strategy: Color-coded examination forms influence performance
Considerable research has demonstrated that affective states influence processing strategy and judgmental accuracy (e.g., Sinclair, 1988; Sinclair & Mark, 1992, 1995). Generally, happy moods lead to nonsystematic, less detailoriented, and more heuristic processing; whereas sad moods lead to more systematic, more detail-oriented, and less heuristic processing. Consistent with this position, Sinclair (1988) and Sinclair and Mark (1995) demonstrated that happy people were less accurate on performance appraisal and statistical judgments than were sad people. Cognitive response analyses demonstrated that these effects occurred because of the differential processing strategies associated with happy versus sad moods.