Mood, stop-rules and task persistence : no mood-as-input effects in the context of pain

K. Ceulemans*, P.A. Karsdorp, J.W.S. Vlaeyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Task persistence despite experiencing pain might be a risk factor for development and maintenance of chronic pain. The Mood-as-Input (MAI) model predicts that the impact of mood on individuals' motivation to persist in a task depends on the interpretation of current mood within a certain motivational context. The aim of the current study was to replicate the original MAI study (Martin, Ward, Achee, & Wyer, 1993), but in a context where the task is painful. METHODS: A 2 Mood (negative versus positive) x 2 Stop-Rule (achievement versus hedonic) between-subjects factorial design was used in which 120 healthy participants (97 women, mean age = 21.78 years, SD = 3.07) performed an impression-formation task while being exposed to mechanically induced pressure pain. RESULTS: The MAI interaction hypothesis was not confirmed. Instead, participants showed more task persistence when they used hedonic stop-rules as a ground to decide on task (dis)continuation than when they used an achievement-oriented stop-rule. Additionally, participants reporting less pain-related fear also spent more time on the painful impression-formation task. The current findings suggest that the MAI perspective might not apply to task persistence behavior in a pain context. LIMITATIONS: These findings may not generalize to task performance in patients with chronic pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Pain
  • Task persistence
  • Mood-as-Input
  • Mood
  • Stop-rules
  • Fear of pain

Cite this