MOOD STATES ARE STATES NOT TRAITS
Brandao, M. R., Figueira, A. J., Andrade, D., Buso, M. C., & Fechio, J. J. (1998). The tracking of mood states. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 696.
Many researchers use the Profile of Mood States (POMS) to track changes in disposition of persons as the result of an intervention. With that use there is an implicit assumption that mood states are durable characteristics that take extended periods of exposure to conditions to change, that is they are pseudo-traits. Although the test was designed to measure transitory fluctuations in mood caused by very short-term life experiences it is the "enduring characteristic" use that it is employed most frequently in sport psychology research.
This investigation measured POMS variables three times a year for two years (1994 and 1997) in physical education students (N = 46) as they progressed through their studies.
It was found that within a year all POMS variables change significantly. Over the four-year period all variables excepting vigor, changed. This demonstrated that POMS variables are not stable and should not be used to reflect extended periods of effects caused by the deliberate impositions of conditions.
Implication. POMS variables should not be used to reflect psychological effects caused by repeated and relatively-long exposures to particular variables. They serve better to reflect reactions to short-term life experiences.
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