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Explanatory style, savoring, happiness, and mediation.
Research has shown that explanatory style predicts negative mood outcomes as well as positive mood outcomes, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear. We investigated here whether the manner in which people savor life events might help explain these relationships. Specifically, we examined whether amplifying and dampening savoring mediated the associations between pessimistic and optimistic explanatory styles on the one hand, and positive and negative mood outcomes on the other. A sample of 103 university students completed self-report measures of explanatory style (ASQ), savoring (WOSC), and a variety of mood outcomes (i.e., happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety). A manifest variable path model showed that: a) amplifying savoring mediated between optimism and positive mood; and b) dampening savoring mediated between pessimism and negative mood. Also, as expected, dampening savoring was a significant negative predictor of positive mood outcomes, and both optimism and pessimism were significant predictors of positive mood outcomes. Altogether these results provide support for several conclusions. First, explanatory style seemed to significantly impact in predictable ways on positive and negative mood states: optimism positively predicted positive outcomes and pessimism positively predicted negative outcomes. And second, savoring significantly mediated the influence of explanatory style on both positive and negative mood states. This latter finding suggests that positive and negative expectations about life significantly shape how individuals react to and regulate positive events in their life.