This study assesses the relative strengths of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised (EPQ-R) and the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) as predictors of mood states. This study adds to the relatively few published reports assessing the relationships between Cloninger's (TPQ) and normal mood. 870 students completed the TPQ, EPQ-R, the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Befindlichskeitskala (BFS), the General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ-28) and the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI). Harm Avoidance (TPQ), Neuroticism (EPQ-R) and Extraversion (EPQ-R) correlated highly with both positive and negative mood (r from .4 to above .6). Harm Avoidance (r between .46 and .60) and Neuroticism (r from .42 to .63) were equally the best predictors of negative mood but Harm Avoidance was the best predictor of Happiness (r = -.67 women, -.69 men). Harm Avoidance has a high correlation with both Extraversion (r = -.60) and Neuroticism (r = .68). Psychoticism played a small but significant role in explaining the variance in mood. The traits of Harm Avoidance and Neuroticism have a high influence on mood state. Those low on Harm Avoidance tend to be emotionally stable (low Neuroticism) Extraverts. The role of Psychoticism on mood needs to be explored further. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.