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A new issue of Emotion is out. Among the many articles are some on: attention and memory, sensation seeking, the worrying mind, and mental imagery. Emotion Volume 5, Issue 4 Editors: Richard J. Davidson, PhD Klaus R. Scherer, PhD Go to APA journals Looking for Foes and Friends: Perceptual and Emotional Factors When Finding a […]

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Posted December 26, 2005 by thomasr

 
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A new issue of Emotion is out. Among the many articles are some on: attention and memory, sensation seeking, the worrying mind, and mental imagery.

Emotion Volume 5, Issue 4

Editors: Richard J. Davidson, PhD

Klaus R. Scherer, PhD

Go to APA journals

Looking for Foes and Friends: Perceptual and Emotional Factors When Finding a Face in the Crowd.

Juth, Pernilla; Lundqvist, Daniel; Karlsson, Andreas; Öhman, Arne

Article abstract

In a face-in-the-crowd setting, the authors examined visual search for photographically reproduced happy, angry, and fearful target faces among neutral distractor faces in 3 separate experiments. Contrary to the hypothesis, happy targets were consistently detected more quickly and accurately than angry and fearful targets, as were directed compared with averted targets. There was no consistent effect of social anxiety. A facial emotion recognition experiment suggested that the happy search advantage could be due to the ease of processing happy faces. In the final experiment with perceptually controlled schematic faces, the authors reported more effective detection of angry than happy faces. This angry advantage was most obvious for highly socially anxious individuals when their social fear was experimentally enhanced. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Sensation Seeking and the Aversive Motivational System.

Lissek, Shmuel; Baas, Johanna M. P.; Pine, Daniel S.; Orme, Kaebah; Dvir, Sharone; Rosenberger, Emily; Grillon, Christian

Article abstract

Sensation seeking (SS) has traditionally been viewed as a phenomenon of the appetitive motivational system. The limited SS research exploring contributions from the aversive motivational system reveals greater anxious reactivity to dangerous activities among low sensation seekers. The present study extends this line of work by comparing levels of fear and anxiety during anticipation of predictable and unpredictable aversive stimuli across high- and low-SS groups. Low sensation seekers displayed greater fear-potentiated startle (FPS) to predictable aversive stimuli, and only those low on SS showed FPS and skin conductance response effects during experimental contexts in which aversive stimuli were delivered unpredictably. Findings implicate enhanced apprehensive anticipation among those low on SS as a potential deterrent for their participation in intense and threatening stimulus events. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Emotional Stimuli, Divided Attention, and Memory.

Kern, Rosalie P.; Libkuman, Terry M.; Otani, Hajime; Holmes, Katherine

Article abstract

The emotion-memory literature has shown that negative emotional arousal enhances memory. S. A. Christianson (1992) proposed that preattentive processing could account for this emotion-memory relationship. Two experiments were conducted to test Christianson’s theory. In Experiment 1, participants were exposed to neutral and negative arousing slides. In Experiment 2, participants were exposed to neutral, negative arousing, and positive arousing slides. In both experiments, the aforementioned variable was factorially combined with a divided-attention or non-divided-attention condition. The authors predicted that, in contrast to the nondivided condition, dividing attention would adversely impact neutral and positive stimuli more than negative stimuli. The hypothesis was supported; participants recalled more high negative-arousal slides than positive or neutral slides when their attention was divided rather than nondivided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Stimuli Associated With Threat Through Conditioning Cannot Be Detected Preattentively.

Batty, Martin J.; Cave, Kyle R.; Pauli, Paul

Article abstract

Studies of anxiety suggest that threat stimuli can be identified preattentively, but this conclusion is questionable because of possible low-level perceptual confounds. Two experiments used visual search tasks in which abstract shapes were conditioned to carry neutral or negative valence. Experiment 1 found generally faster responses to threat-associated abstract stimuli but no evidence that they were detected preattentively, irrespective of trait anxiety level. A similar pattern was found in Experiment 2, in which individuals high in snake or spider fear showed no evidence of preattentive detection of abstract stimuli associated with their feared object. In contrast, implicit behavioral measures showed significant effects of conditioning, demonstrating that targets associated with threat were negatively evaluated in these experiments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Measuring Affective Clarity Indirectly: Individual Differences in Response Latencies of State.

Lischetzke, Tanja; Cuccodoro, Ghislaine; Gauger, Anja; Todeschini, Laure; Eid, Michael

Article abstract

This research investigated a new method to measure momentary affective clarity indirectly, which is based on latencies of responses to state affect items. Three studies revealed that this indirect measure of momentary clarity demonstrated high reliability and stability as well as convergent and predictive validity. The indirect measure was associated with dispositional clarity when the concept of clarity was activated before measuring response latencies (Studies 1 and 2) and was related to self-reports of momentary clarity (Study 3). Furthermore, Study 3 demonstrated that indirectly measured clarity decreased after an affectively complex film. Indirectly, but not directly, measured momentary clarity predicted a more positive affective state at the end of the study. This effect was mediated by affect regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Mood-Congruent Attentional Bias in Dysphoria: Maintained Attention to and Impaired Disengagement From Negative Information.

Koster, Ernst H. W.; De Raedt, Rudi; Goeleven, Ellen; Franck, Erik; Crombez, Geert

Article abstract

Attentional bias to negative information has been proposed to be a cognitive vulnerability factor for the development of depression. In 2 experiments, the authors examined mood-congruent attentional bias in dysphoria. In both experiments, dysphoric and nondysphoric participants performed an attentional task with negative, positive, and neutral word cues preceding a target. Targets appeared either at the same or at the opposite location of the cue. Overall, results indicate that dysphoric participants show maintained attention for negative words at longer stimulus presentations, which is probably caused by impaired attentional disengagement from negative words. Furthermore, nondysphoric participants maintain their attention more strongly to positive words. These results are discussed in relation to recent developments in the pathogenesis and treatment of depression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Defocused Attention in Depressed Mood: Evidence From Source Monitoring.

von Hecker, Ulrich; Meiser, Thorsten

Article abstract

The authors suggest that depressed mood is associated with a defocused mode of attention, allowing irrelevant information to be noticed and processed more than in nondepressed states. Working on a source monitoring task, subclinically depressed college students selected with the Beck Depression Inventory (A. T. Beck, 1967; D. Kammer, 1983) had better memory for irrelevant stimulus aspects than nondepressed control students. However, depressed students’ performance on the relevant stimulus aspects was unimpaired. These results are in conflict with a capacity reduction view of depressed mood and support the hypothesized altered, defocused mode, in which attentional resources are more evenly allocated across various aspects of the materials. The results are discussed within the framework of adaptive functions of emotional states. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

The Worried Mind: Autonomic and Prefrontal Activation During Worrying.

Hofmann, Stefan G.; Moscovitch, David A.; Litz, Brett T.; Kim, Hyo-Jin; Davis, Lissa L.; Pizzagalli, Diego A.

Article abstract

To study the psychophysiological correlates of worrying, the authors recorded heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), skin conductance level, and alpha electroencephalographic asymmetry in healthy males during baseline, relaxation, worry induction, and anticipation of an impromptu speech task. Compared with baseline, relaxation, and anticipation, worrying was associated with greater heart rate and lower RSA. Worrying was further characterized by higher skin conductance levels compared with baseline but lower levels than during anticipation. Finally, worrying was associated with relatively greater left frontal activity compared with anticipation. Trait public speaking anxiety was positively correlated with left frontal activity during worrying. These results support the notion that worrying is a unique emotional state that is different from fearful anticipation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Implicit Self-Attitudes Predict Spontaneous Affect in Daily Life.

Conner, Tamlin; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

Article abstract

In 2 studies, the authors examined the degree to which implicit self-attitudes predicted people’s spontaneous affective experiences in daily life. Across both studies, implicit attitudes toward the self (as measured by Implicit Association Tests) strongly predicted negative feeling states (as measured by computerized experience-sampling procedures), suggesting that implicit self-attitudes may be linked to changes in undifferentiated negative affect. Explicit attitudes toward the self generally did not account for these relations. Findings extend understanding of the factors that contribute to experienced affect and are the first to empirically link implicit self-attitudes with phenomenological affective experience in real-life settings over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Mental Imagery and Emotion: A Special Relationship?

Holmes, Emily A.; Mathews, Andrew

Article abstract

A special association between imagery and emotion is often assumed, despite little supporting evidence. In Experiment 1, participants imagined unpleasant events or listened to the same descriptions while thinking about their verbal meaning. Those in the imagery condition reported more anxiety and rated new descriptions as more emotional than did those in the verbal condition. In Experiment 2, 4 groups listened to either benign or unpleasant descriptions, again with imagery or verbal processing instructions. Anxiety again increased more after unpleasant (but not benign) imagery; however, emotionality ratings did not differ after a 10-min filler task. Results support the hypothesis of a special link between imagery and anxiety but leave open the question of whether this also applies to other emotions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Facial Attractiveness Is Appraised in a Glance.

Olson, Ingrid R.; Marshuetz, Christy

Article abstract

Those who are physically attractive reap many benefits–from higher average wages to a wider variety of mate choices. Recent studies have investigated what constitutes beauty and how beauty affects explicit social judgments, but little is known about the perceptual or cognitive processing that is affected by aesthetic judgments of faces and why beauty affects our behavior. In this study, the authors show that beauty is perceived when information is minimized by masking or rapid presentation. Perceiving and processing beauty appear to require little attention and to bias subsequent cognitive processes. These facts may make beauty difficult to ignore, possibly leading to its importance in social evaluations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Influence of Emotion on Memory for Temporal Information.

D’Argembeau, Arnaud; Van der Linden, Martial

Article abstract

Contextual information, such as color and spatial location, has been found to be better remembered for emotional than for neutral items. The current study examined whether the influence of emotion extends to memory for another fundamental feature of episodic memory: temporal information. Results from a list-discrimination paradigm showed that (a) item memory was enhanced for both negative and positive pictures compared with neutral ones and was better for negative than for positive pictures and (b) temporal information was better remembered for negative than for positive and neutral pictures, whereas positive and neutral pictures did not differ from each other. These findings are discussed in relation to the processes involved in memory for temporal information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

The Use of Ecological Momentary Assessment to Test Appraisal Theories of Emotion.

Tong, Eddie M. W.; Bishop, George D.; Enkelmann, Hwee Chong; Why, Yong Peng; Diong, Siew Maan; Khader, Majeed; Ang, Jansen

Article abstract

Although appraisal theories have received strong empirical support, there are methodological concerns about the research, including biased recall, heuristic responding, ethical issues, and weak and unrealistic induction of emotions in laboratories. To provide a more ecologically valid test of appraisal theories, the authors used ecological momentary assessment, in which the emotions and appraisals of Singaporean police officers were measured online over the course of an ordinary workday. The research focused on happiness. Support was obtained for predictions, demonstrating the generalizability of appraisal theories to a nonlaboratory setting and circumventing the shortcomings of previously used methodologies. Also, evidence was obtained that happiness was reported primarily in association with a specific combination of 3 relevant appraisals: high pleasantness, high perceived control, and low moral violation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

Affective Speech Elicited With a Computer Game.

Johnstone, Tom; van Reekum, Carien M.; Hird, Kathryn; Kirsner, Kim; Scherer, Klaus R.

Article abstract

To determine the degree to which emotional changes in speech reflect factors other than arousal, such as valence, the authors used a computer game to induce natural emotional speech. Voice samples were elicited following game events that were either conducive or obstructive to the goal of winning and were accompanied by either pleasant or unpleasant sounds. Acoustic analysis of the speech recordings of 30 adolescents revealed that mean energy, fundamental-frequency level, utterance duration, and the proportion of an utterance that was voiced varied with goal conduciveness; spectral energy distribution depended on manipulations of pleasantness; and pitch dynamics depended on the interaction of pleasantness and goal conduciveness. The results suggest that a single arousal dimension does not adequately characterize a number of emotion-related vocal changes, lending weight to multidimensional theories of emotional response patterning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)

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