Phenomenological Insights in Mood and Mood-Related Consumer Behaviors

Jacqueline J. Kacen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ABSTRACT - Individuals' mood states have been found to affect sociability, self-concept, recall, evaluations, judgments and risk taking. However, mood effects on consumer behaviors are largely unknown. This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study into individual experiences of mood and subsequent mood-related behaviors. Data were collected in multiple, depth interviews and analyzed by a constant comparative method revealing insights into the lived meaning of mood. Distinguishing aspects of moods and behaviors prompted by moods are identified and directions for future research are suggested.
[ to cite ]:
Jacqueline J. Kacen (1994) ,"Phenomenological Insights in Mood and Mood-Related Consumer Behaviors", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 21, eds. Chris T. Allen and Deborah Roedder John, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 519-525.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 21, 1994      Pages 519-525


Jacqueline J. Kacen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Individuals' mood states have been found to affect sociability, self-concept, recall, evaluations, judgments and risk taking. However, mood effects on consumer behaviors are largely unknown. This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study into individual experiences of mood and subsequent mood-related behaviors. Data were collected in multiple, depth interviews and analyzed by a constant comparative method revealing insights into the lived meaning of mood. Distinguishing aspects of moods and behaviors prompted by moods are identified and directions for future research are suggested.


Early work by Tompkins (1970) held that feelings are the primary motivators of human behavior. Others have identified "experiential" and hedonic aspects of consumption (Ahtola 1985; Holbrook and Hirschman 1982; Venkatraman and MacInnis 1985). This approach to consumer behavior holds that emotional desires dominate utilitarian motives in the consumer choice process in some instances (Etzioni 1988; Hirschman and Holbrook 1982). Weinberg and Gothwald (1982) found that emotions are a key ingredient in stimulating impulse purchases. Langer (1983) has suggested that difficult economic conditions may increase consumers' needs for treats and emotional charges. One way to explore this idea of emotional or mood-driven consumer behaviors is to examine, from an in-depth phenomenological perspective, individual's experiences of mood and the activities and behaviors associated with these moods.

The objectives of the study reported here were to 1) explore the context and phenomenology of mood through individual depth interviews, and 2) identify patterns of consumer behavior linked to good and bad mood states. This paper begins with a discussion of the theoretical foundations underlying the concept of mood and its effects on sociability, evaluations, judgments, and behavior. The research method is then described. The results of the interviews are presented, interpreted and integrated into a discussion of "mood management" theory. The paper concludes with suggestions for further research.


Mood has been described as a particular state of mind or feeling that is theoretically associated with personality and the temporary internal state of an individual in a particular environment (Peterson and Sauber 1983). Moods have also conceptualized as subjectively perceived feeling states that are transient, omnipresent and easily influenced by little things (Gardner 1985; Gardner and Vandersteel 1984). They are contrasted with feeling states that are relatively stable and permanent such as optimistic or pessimistic personality dispositions (Westbrook 1980) and are distinct from feelings directed toward a specific object (e.g., the affective component of brand attitude; see Gardner 1985).

Moods are also distinct from emotions which have generally been conceptualized as more intense states of arousal (Wessman and Ricks 1966). However, moods can also be intense and arousing (Morris and Reilly 1987). What distinguishes moods from emotions is that the latter have an object reference (Ewert 1970) and their effects create a state of awareness which may redirect attention to the source of the emotion (Gardner 1985; Simon 1967). Moods, on the other hand, are more unfocused and pervasive feeling states that provide a general context for thought (Simon 1982) and a general "tuning" of the organism (Scherer 1986). They are best described as temporary, affect-laden feeling states that are ubiquitous in nature.

Motivational Role of Mood

Isen (1984, 1985) has suggested that we are generally motivated to maintain, even prolong, pleasant moods but attempt to terminate unpleasant ones. This interpretation, grounded in social learning theory (e.g., Bandura 1977, Mischel 1973) and the principle of self-regulation (Carver and Scheier 1981), holds that individuals who are feeling good will try to maintain this state (mood maintenance); individuals who are feeling badly will engage in acts to improve their mood (mood repair). It has been found that individuals try to resist negative moods and may engage in behaviors or psychological processes that seek to terminate unpleasant mood states (Schwarz and Clore 1983).

Carver and Scheier's (1981, 1990) model proposes that self-regulation processes involve comparing one's current state with a goal or standard. If there is a discrepancy, one may either adjust one's behavior to meet the standard or, if one expects to fail, abandon attempts to meet it. Disruptions or failures in the pursuit of one's goals activate processes of self-regulation, which require focusing attention on the self (Pyszczynski and Greenberg 1987). An experience of failure "signals a need for self-regulation" (Greenberg and Pyszczynski 1986, p. 1041). Negative feelings may warn that something is wrong and that one must attend to the self in order to surmount the failure or to adjust one's standards (Wood, Saltzberg, and Goldsamt 1990). The findings from research on compulsive buying indicates that the alleviation of negative feelings appears to be the primary motivation for this behavior (Faber, O'Guinn, and Krych 1987; O'Guinn and Faber 1989).

Positive feelings may also encourage self-focus as a means of prolonging the good mood (Greenberg and Pyszczynski 1986; Wicklund 1975). However, affect-control processes are likely to be more urgent when we are sad than when we are happy because we try to keep negative feelings away (Isen 1984, 1985). Sadness may be more salient (i.e., more novel and preoccupying) than happiness and therefore more likely to prompt attention (Isen 1984; Wood et al. 1990). Further, controlling negative feelings requires more effort since it involves trying to change our emotional state rather than merely prolonging our current state; this may induce more self-focus (Wood et al. 1990).

Mood and Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior involves the acquisition, consumption and disposition of a variety of goods and services. Inherent in this is making choices about which products to acquire, consume, and dispose of. These choices likely are affected by our moods, and our efforts to manage them.

Moods are accompanied by thoughts and feelings that tend to facilitate and extend the mood experience (Clark and Isen 1982; Cohen 1990; Zillmann 1988; Zillmann and Bryant 1985). Engaging and absorbing activities that share a behavioral affinity to the current mood state perpetuate the prior mood because they revive mood-maintaining cognitions (cf. Zillmann 1979). Revival is due to the fact that behaviorally related affective reactions share associative networks (Anderson and Bower 1973; Isen 1984). Activities that lack similarity with the mood experience in which they intervene tend to disrupt and impair the mood maintaining looping in and rehearsing of thoughts related to the particular mood experience, thus diminishing the intensity of the mood and fostering its termination (Zillmann and Bryant 1985; see also Kendall and Hollon 1979).

Negative moods create unpleasant feelings that must be disposed of. This can be done by acquiring something that has more positive self-enhancing properties. Since products "enabl[e] the consumer to appropriate the world of his or her desires" (Churchill and Wertz 1985), purchasing a product with positive attributes may help to overcome a negative mood. Alternatively, bad moods may involve consuming more positive stimuli (e.g., television programs, the sights and sounds of a shopping mall). Consumption of these stimuli can distract attention away from negative feelings and allow refocusing on more pleasant things. Disposition behavior (e.g., cleaning) may be a kind of cleansing ritual, a way of removing the negative and beginning anew (cf. Young 1991). Thus, consumer activities and behaviors that enable us to eliminate our unpleasant feelings, refocus on more positive stimuli, and restore our self-image will likely be pursued when we are in a bad mood.

Positive moods are likely to encourage more acquisition and consumption behaviors. Individuals in a good mood tend to be more generous to themselves (Mischel, Coates, and Raskoff 1968; Underwood, Moore, and Rosenhan 1973) and to others (Isen 1970). Engaging in pleasant activities (e.g., eating, shopping, visiting with friends) will prolong a good mood. Activities with negative connotations (e.g., watching a depressing movie) will probably be avoided.

It is likely that individuals engage in self-regulatory mood-management processes and have devised strategies for coping with unpleasant moods and for prolonging pleasant moods. By exploring individuals' phenomenological experiences of pleasant and unpleasant moods, and the means (i.e., the acquisition, consumption and disposition behaviors) by which they manage these experiences, it is possible to come to a greater understanding of consumers' mood-related behaviors.


Twelve depth interviews were conducted as part of this study. The overall objective of the interviews was to gain a richer, deeper insight into behaviors which arise as a result of "good" or "bad" moods as experienced by individuals. The development of an understanding of individuals' experiences of mood, as expressed by the informants, was an integral goal of the research. An additional goal was the identification of consumer behaviors designed to manage an individual's moods. Existential phenomenology offers a perspective and methodology to achieve these goals by focusing on a person's experiences as they are lived in a social context (Thompson, Locander, and Pollio 1989; Valle and King 1978). The interviews were conducted to answer two questions: "How do individuals experience good moods and bad moods?" and "Do they have strategies (e.g., do they engage in specific behaviors) to manage their moods?"

The 12 informants (six men and six women) interviewed for this study were all undergraduates at a large midwestern university who received course credit for their participation. All were single, middle class, and ranged in age from 19 to 24. The interviews were audiotaped and lasted approximately one hour. Before beginning, informants were told that the purpose of the interview was to gain insight into individuals' experiences of different moods. Each interview began with the question "Tell me about a time recently when you were in a bad mood." After a detailed discussion of bad mood experiences (approximately 30 minutes into the interview) informants were asked to describe a recent good mood experience. All other questions emerged spontaneously from the ensuing dialogue. (Bad mood experiences were discussed first so that the interview ended on a positive note.)

This unstructured approach allows for more rapid development of rapport, maximizes informants' opportunities to introduce topics in a manner comfortable to them, and lets informants develop the discussion at their own pace (Schouten 1991). All informants were readily able to recall several recent good and bad mood experiences.

Analysis was an iterative process of transcribing, coding and categorizing the data (cf. McCracken 1988; Miles and Huberman 1984). Data of apparent thematic similarity were identified throughout the transcription process, highlighted and coded with key words. Coded data were compared and contrasted, producing a few broad categories which were further sorted and clustered to yield the principal themes (cf. Mick and DeMoss 1990; Schouten 1991; Young 1991).


Bad Moods: Sources and Effects

Bad moods generally arose from disruptions or failures in the pursuit of informants' goals (cf. Pyszczynski and Greenberg 1987) leading to feelings of powerlessness and loss of self-esteem. Among the students interviewed in this study, many bad moods came about due to poor academic performance, or problems with social relationships. Concern with grades was mentioned by nearly all the participants:

I took the conflict exam that we had. [My professor] said that the conflict wasn't going to be any harder, and in my opinion it wound up being a lot harder. I was very depressed because I didn't do that good on it. (Michelle)

Roommates and significant others were also the basis for many bad moods. Desmond's arguments with his girlfriend leave him in a bad mood:

It's frustrating. It's hard to really express what I'm thinking or feeling without her taking it the wrong way. I feel that anything I could do would be useless. (Desmond)

Feeling a lack of control over things, e.g., unresolved issues involving social relationships or academic responsibilities, or external pressures related to work load and academic performance, produced feelings of apprehension and frustration.

I have a lot of stress right now because I have a bunch of papers and quizzes this week and next week. I feel like I don't have enough time to finish it all. I get mad because I don't have enough time. I can't do things as well as I'd like to, and I'm just getting totally stressed because I don't have enough time to do everything. (Pam)

The negative feelings induced by a bad mood often reduced self-confidence and led to more focusing on the self:

I just go to my room. Stay distant from people. Maybe clean it up. Go through my checkbook. If something's really bothering me, I'll be thinking about that. (Janet)

This self-focusing resulted in an inability to concentrate on other things (especially school work), and often led to a loss of energy, a lack of effort and conscientiousness toward (school) work, antisocial tendencies, or a heightened sensitivity toward negative things (criticism, bad news, etc.)

I guess when I get in a bad mood I'm more quiet. I keep to myself more. I stay in my room and don't want to be bothered....I'm unproductive when I'm in a bad mood....I just can't study as I should, or just don't feel like doing anything. (Scott)

Bad Moods: Mood-Managing Strategies

Two principle themes emerged from an analysis of the strategies adopted to overcome negative feelings: escape and control behaviors. Escape activities improve a negative mood by changing one's attentional focus.

Usually if I'm in a bad mood I read People, or some kind of magazine like that. I actually like to read the Enquirer too and stuff like that, just because it's something that's totally outside of my everyday life...something entertaining just to set everything else aside and maybe lift my spirits a little....But just reading the stuff like things about Oprah getting married and just...maybe reading about other people's problems helps too....Some guy could be losing $20 million in a lawsuit and I can see that as being more of a problem than me not getting an A in Finance...(Troy)

Activities like reading, watching tv, or listening to music provide a sense of escape by refocusing the mind on different (usually happier) things - in effect, pushing away negative thoughts.

If I'm feeling mopey, I won't do much of anything. I won't do homework. I'll sit on the couch and watch junk tv. I won't watch 'Nature' and 'Discovery' where I actually have to learn something, think about something. I just want to be bombarded by what's on the screen. Maybe I'll read a novel, like Stephen King or John Grisham. (Bill)

Sometimes the escape activity requires a physical escape like shopping or going to the movies. Shifting to a new environment allows individuals in a bad mood to leave their negative feelings behind and focus on different (more positive) stimuli.

A lot of times actually when I get depressed I feel like going shopping....Sometimes I'll find myself going to the mall just to spend money when I'm in a bad mood. I don't know, for some reason, spending money, not a lot but a small amount, for some reason it makes me feel better....Actually, I can remember one time where I just went and bought some earrings. Just something small. But it just made me feel better to have something new....Maybe like, that I could get on and not worry about this, I have something new. I should forget about the old things and start doing new things instead. (Pam)

"Working out" was an often cited mood-management strategy. Exercise provides escape by 1) refocusing attention on more intense physical sensations which can overpower the unwanted emotional sensations, and 2) providing a release for negative feelings.

I'll go and work out, exercise....It kind of clears your mind because you're able to - even though your thoughts are still with you, you can concentrate on something else... (Tracy)

Writing letters and talking with friends or family works analogously by allowing negative feelings to "escape" through communication channels.

It gets it off my chest...that always helps talking to my roommates.... We start talking about one thing and it just leads to another, and pretty soon we're just talking, hanging out, tripping out, laughing and my girlfriend is not even on my mind anymore. (Desmond)

Control behaviors are designed to overcome negative feelings like powerlessness by demonstrating one's dominance over something.

I really like classical music. And playing it is even better. Because you're the one who's controlling it. It makes you feel like you're in power, in control. (Sarah)

Cleaning, driving, or playing a musical instrument are all empowering activities that provide a sense of mastery over the physical environment. Control over the physical helps bring one's emotional state under control.

It's just driving and being by myself and looking at things that you don't get to see every day. I'd go down by the river, something like that, just drive by.... Driving's probably a good way to get rid of stress or something, at least for a while, because for me it was like being in control. (Troy)

Cleaning one's room or one's apartment can also be seen as a physical manifestation of "straightening up" the thoughts and feelings in one's head. Such organizing refocuses attention, provides a physical release for the feelings created by the negative mood, and restores one's sense of order, direction and control.

Usually if I'm in a really bad mood, I'll clean my room, you know, just to get.... I'll feel like I've got to get some organization in my life. I'll clean up my room, maybe throw away some papers that I have everywhere across the room. (Michelle)

Analysis of the data reveals that most negative mood behaviors are pursued as solitary activities. Due to diminished self-esteem and self-confidence, most individuals choose to be alone when they are in a bad mood, at least initially. However, while bad moods encourage "nesting" instincts and the pursuit of solitude, there is also a need to release the negative feelings, which may sometimes involves communicating with a close "other."

When I have a problem, and I want to get rid of the feeling or whatever, I'd rather talk to somebody about it. Which is usually my girlfriend or my parents. And it's kind of like, through talking they put in their advice or their input and it kind of helps put things in perspective or make things not seem as bad. (Scott)

Further, bad moods can encompass a variety of feelings and effects. There is a difference, for example, in the energy one feels when one is frustrated versus when one is depressed. This has an effect on the mood-managing activities chosen, as revealed by Bill. When he's "mopey," he "won't do much of anything" but when in irritated or frustrated moods:

I work them off. I do homework. I clean the apartment. I'll go for a jog. Just anything to keep busy. Because if I sit there, it's just going to get worse....I'll just focus on that. Anything just to distract me. (Bill)

Similarly, Josie likes to listen to music when she's in a bad mood. But there is different music for different bad moods:

When I'm in a bad mood, I'll listen to music. Classic rock like the Police, the Rolling Stones. If I'm really really upset, then I put the Scorpions on.... Maybe it's the beat. Maybe it corresponds with your heartbeat. You just concentrate on the beat and you forget what you're upset about. [If I'm depressed] I put on the really sad stuff.... Just the songs that have emotion in them. I guess maybe it's the things they are singing about, and you just let that emotion ride out its course, then you're fine. (Josie)

In sum, negative moods seem to arise from disruptions in the pursuit of goals which activates self-regulatory processes. Individuals first engage in self-focusing to try to understand their feelings, and then pursue activities that allow the negative feelings to dissipate and/or restore self-esteem (cf. Swann, Pelham, and Krull 1989). Pleasant, or more positive, activities disrupt the negative thoughts and feelings that accompany a bad mood and help to terminate it. The activities chosen depend on the nature of the mood. Arousing negative moods (e.g., frustration, irritation) create excess negative energy that must be eliminated, often through physical activities (exercise, cleaning). Depressive moods sap energy and result in more sedentary activities (watching television).

Good moods: Sources and Effects

Not surprisingly, good moods were prompted by things which made informants feel good about themselves, things that confirmed self-worth and matched expectations of achievement of a personal goal or standard (cf. Carver and Scheier 1981).

Yesterday after I worked out - it was a good workout, nice, hard, you know, burned the muscles - and I ran home and I made it all the way home. Not easily, but I wasn't hurting. So I was just elated. It was like, "Yes! I did it!" (Desmond)

Some sources of good moods mentioned by the participants included academic successes, feeling cared about and wanted, accomplishing a personal goal, pleasurable social events (vacations, visiting family and friends, parties) and feeling free from responsibilities, time pressures and (school) work. For example, John feels "in a good mood during vacations, when I get to see [old] friends."

In contrast to negative moods, positive moods led to heightened self-esteem, more self-confidence, greater sociability, and more energy.

My personality improves, I guess, when I'm in a good mood. I'm more open to other people as far as conversation or laughing along with somebody, something like that. When I'm in a good mood I usually want to do something. Rather than sit there and be in a good mood, I'd rather be sharing my good mood with the world, so to speak....Because usually when I get in a good mood I have extra energy for some reason. So I want to burn the energy off or, I don't know, do something rather than just sit there. (Scott)

Good moods also reduced worrying, and increased the propensity for (slight) risk-taking (cf. Isen and Patrick 1983).

I guess sometimes when I'm in a good mood, I may take more risks....I may call somebody up that I haven't talked to for a long time or something....One time I called somebody that I'd had a fight with a while ago and I was afraid to do it, but I was in a good mood so I was like, "well, I'll take this chance and I'll try it." (Pam)

Consistent with prior findings (Mischel et al. 1968; Underwood et al. 1973), when in a good mood, informants were generous to themselves, and more willing to try new things.

When I'm in a good mood [at the grocery store] I like to try something new. When I'm in a bad mood, I just don't want to try anything. I get the old stuff. Because you're just like an old person, you don't want to do anything. You don't want to think. So I just get something I always get. But sometimes when I'm in a good mood I try to get something new. (Wilson)

Good Moods: Mood-Management Strategies

Positive moods generally create a desire to "share the good mood with the world." In contrast to bad moods, good moods encourage the pursuit of social activities: team sports, or going out with friends.

In a good mood, I'm more apt to do things that I normally don't do. Like maybe go out with a group of friends or something.... Out to eat maybe. Or over to somebody's house. Maybe play basketball with some friends. (Troy)

Engaging in activities with friends that are inherently enjoyable prolongs the good mood. Social activities also confirm one's sense of self-worth and feelings of being loved. Good moods increase self-confidence which encourages more risk-taking behavior: "it's like there's nothing I can't handle. Nothing I can't achieve" (Desmond).


It is clear from these interviews that moods do affect our acquisition, consumption, and disposition behaviors. Individuals do engage in self-regulatory behaviors and do have a variety of mood-managing strategies that prolong their pleasant moods and help to alleviate their unpleasant ones. The chosen activities affect mood by perpetuating or interrupting the mood experience.

The unpleasant feelings that accompany a negative mood can be eliminated by acquiring something new, like a pair of earrings. Having something new represents a fresh start, a rebirth and helps us to "forget about the old things and start doing new [more positive] things" (Pam). Consumption of pleasantly engaging stimuli such as television programs, magazines, books, movies or the sights and sounds of a shopping mall distract us from our negative feelings and provide a happier, more positive focus. As an acquisition and consumption behavior, exercise provides new physical sensations, enhanced capabilities (we are stronger, faster, leaner) and an improved self-image while "consuming" negative energies. Disposition behavior - throwing out papers or other personal items - may be a kind of cleansing ritual, a way of throwing out the old, negative self and getting a fresh start. Exercise allows us to literally dispose of negative feelings by "sweating them away." Similarly, "disposing" of negative feelings may be done through letter writing or confiding in a close friend.

Good mood consumer behaviors are much more social and generally entail engaging in acquisition and consumption behaviors in the pursuit of a good time. These can include shopping, going out to eat, or calling friends. We may buy things simply because we are feeling more generous toward ourselves. Consumption of food and drink in a public restaurant/bar provides a social atmosphere which prolongs the good mood by reaffirming our social ties and our sense of being loved.

Interestingly, some consumer behaviors are both good mood and bad mood behaviors. We may choose to go shopping or to the movies when we are in a good mood and when we are in a bad mood. However, the purpose and the experience is different when the behavior is pursued to relieve a bad mood or to maintain a good mood.

When I go [to the movies] when I'm in a good mood it is just to enjoy the movie. And just enjoy myself. But if I go for a bad mood it's probably just to get away from other things. So it may not even be a movie that I necessarily want to's just a way of getting away from things that are bothering me now. (Troy)

Typically, when we're in a bad mood we engage in solitary activities because we are focused on ourselves, on restoring our self-esteem, on regaining control of our environment (cf. Wood et al. 1990). The intent is escape, relief of negative feelings, or control. On the other hand, if we are in a good mood, we may engage in the same behavior, but it will be with friends, and the emphasis will be on the social aspect of the activity. The shops we go into or the movie we see will be of secondary importance to the people who are with us. With good mood behaviors, the intent is to prolong the mood by sharing it with others.


This study illustrates the central role that mood can play in individual consumer behaviors. It describes the events and experiences which lead to different moods, and the resulting behaviors aimed at managing these feelings and maintaining or restoring self-esteem. The principal mood-managing consumer behaviors discovered in this study include shopping, exercise, reading, driving, cleaning, writing letters, watching television, going out with friends, and talking to loved ones. Escape and control activities help to eliminate negative feelings and restore self-esteem by interrupting negative thoughts and providing a sense of mastery over the environment. Socially oriented behaviors prolong positive moods by affirming social likability, and hence, self-worth.

However, the "self context" of the study participants is important to a discussion of the findings. Sears (1986) has argued that college students have less formulated senses of the self, stronger cognitive skills, stronger tendencies to comply with authority and more unstable peer group relationships. These characteristic tendencies were clearly evident in the interview transcripts. Additionally, since achievement is an expected behavior in a college setting (Frieze, Sales, and Smith 1991), it is possible that the informants exhibited more concern with achievement than they would have in other situations.

Further, one of the central factors affecting the context of one's life is where one is in the life cycle. The self changes in predictable ways at different life stages (Frieze et al. 1991). Accordingly, one's self-concept changes also, and is dependent upon how well one handles those issues that are most important to psychological growth and well-being during any given life stage. The mood experiences and effects described by the students in this study unquestionably reflect their current life stage concerns. The findings expressed here, therefore, may not be generalizable beyond a college student population.

Nevertheless, moods and mood management strategies bear further examination. The informants were, admittedly, extremely homogeneous. Depth interviews with individuals in other stages of life who have different concerns (see Frieze et al. 1991) as well as a wider range of adults encompassing more diverse racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds is needed to compare and extend the findings from this study. Since moods seem to arise from things that facilitate or disrupt the pursuit of one's goals, it is likely that the moods of adults in different life stages will be prompted by things which affect their self-concept as determined by the life concerns with which they are faced. With a larger sample of individual moods and mood-related actions, better insights into mood and its motivational role in consumer behavior can be obtained.

Since affective factors have been recognized as important - if not primary (see, e.g., Tompkins 1970; Zajonc 1984) - motivators of behavior, the relationship between mood and mood-related behaviors is a significant one. This study makes a modest contribution toward understanding that relationship.


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