Moods and programmers’ performance
Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, Robert M. Hierons, Willem-Paul Brinkman
Abstract: We tested the impact of mood on the debugging performance of programmers. Four movie clips were used to induce programmer’s mood. In the test, 72 programmers watched both a neutral video clip and one of the four mood evoking video clips and after each of these they took a debugging test. Examination of the test results revealed an almost significant effect for the arousal mood-dimension on both debug score (F (1, 70) = 3.33, p = 0.07) and on the number of questions attempted within the required time (F (1, 70) = 6.26, p = 0.015). However, no significant effect was found for the valance mood dimension. These results seem to suggest that the programmer’s ability to find and correct errors in program code depends on their level of arousal.