During the movie 'The Pursuit of Happiness', Will Smith takes on the role of a hardworking man who struggles to support himself and his son. After investing his life savings in Osteo National bone-density scanners, he has a hard time selling them as the technology is very expensive and only marginally better then more widely available x-ray scanners. In a bid to shift as many as possible, Will is extremely polite and friendly towards all potential customers he contacts. However, research conducted by Forgas (2007) suggested that naive recipients are more greatly influenced by a persuasive message from someone in a negative mood set compared to a positive one. This might have been an additional factor that caused his sales pitches to be unsuccessful! It was therefore a very good thing that Will made his big break as a stock broker.
By Ella Mould
Forgas, J. P. (2007). When sad is better than happy: Negative affect can improve the quality and effectiveness of persuasive messages and social influence strategies. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43(4), 513-528.