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In the mood for odd? The role of affective factors in the evaluation of categorical atypicality

Cudennec, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-6293-1239 & Huynh, C. (2023). In the mood for odd? The role of affective factors in the evaluation of categorical atypicality. Poetics, 101, article number 101838. doi: 10.1016/j.poetic.2023.101838


This paper investigates the impact of atypicality on cultural goods reception. While prior research has assumed controlled and highly cognitive mechanisms in audience evaluations, this paper probes the influence of affective states. We suggest that crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, trigger affective states and sway evaluations of atypical cultural goods. In a longitudinal study on movie evaluations (“Study 1”), we analyze how the external shock of the COVID-19 lockdown announcement — proxying heightened negative affects including anxiety — interacted with movies’ atypicality and their subsequent audience evaluations. Furthermore, two preregistered controlled experiments establish causal links at the individual level. Study 2 corroborates the causal relationship between the COVID-19 lockdown announcement and increased negative affects. Study 3 shows that higher negative affects moderate how perceived novelty mediates atypicality's effect on audience evaluations. Overall, this paper has important implications for research on categorization, social evaluations, and the consequences of COVID-19 policy consequences.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Atypicality, Evaluation, Affects, Topic modeling, Movies, COVID-19
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of MoodOdd - Poetics - main doc & appendix - preprint.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 13 October 2025 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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