Emotion vs. Mood

Emotions are intense feelings that are directed at someone or something. Moods are feelings that tend to be less intense than emotions and that often (though not always) lack a contextual stimulus. Most experts believe that emotions are more fleeting than moods. For example, if someone is rude to you, you’ll feel angry. That intense feeling of anger probably comes and goes fairly quickly, maybe even in a matter of seconds. When you’re in a bad mood, though, you can feel bad for several hours. Emotions are reactions to a person (seeing a friend at work may make you feel glad) or event (dealing with a rude client may make you feel angry). You show your emotions when you’re “happy about something, angry at someone, afraid of something.” Moods, in contrast, aren’t usually directed at a person or event. But emotions can turn into moods when you lose focus on the event or object that started the feeling. And, by the same token, good or bad moods can make you more emotional in response to an event. So when a colleague criticizes how you spoke to a client, you might become angry at him. That is, you show emotion (anger) toward a specific object (your colleague). But as the specific emotion dissipates, you might just feel generally dispirited. You can’t attribute this feeling to any single event; you’re just not your normal self. You might then overreact to other events. This affect state describes a mood.

  1. Mood is something a person may not express whereas emotions may be expressed.
  2. Mood may last for a long period whereas emotions may last only for the time being.
  3. Emotions are aroused in people by some specific objects or situations. On the other hand, moods are not created in someone because of any specific object or any particular situation.
  4. If a person gets angry, he expresses that emotion towards someone. If a person is in a sad mood, he cannot express it to others.
  5. When compared to moods, emotions are more extreme.
  6. Emotion is a word that has been derived from the French emouvoir.
  7. Mood is a word that is derived from the Old English word of Mod, which represented military courage.


  1. http://catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/samplechapter/0132431564.pdf
  2. http://timhillpsychotherapy.com/blog/144-moods-vs-emotions.html
  3. http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-mood-and-emotion/
  4. https://www.paulekman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Moods-Emotions-And-Traits.pdf
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4217599/