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Cognition & Emotion

Paula M Niedenthal, Adrienne Wood
One of the biggest challenges in the study of emotion-cognition interaction is addressing the question of whether and how emotions influence processes of perception as distinct from other higher-level cognitive processes. Most theories of emotion agree that an emotion episode begins with a sensory experience - such as a visual percept - that elicits a cascade of affective, cognitive, physiological, and/or behavioural responses (the ordering and inclusion of those latter components being forever debated). However, for decades, a subset of philosophers and scientists have suggested that the presumed perception → emotion relationship is in fact bidirectional, with emotion also altering the perceptual process...
January 12, 2019: Cognition & Emotion
Oksana Itkes, Zohar Eviatar, Assaf Kron
People sometimes report both pleasant and unpleasant feelings when presented with affective stimuli. However, what is reported as "mixed emotions" might reflect semantic knowledge about the stimulus (Russell, J. A. (2017). Mixed emotions viewed from the psychological constructionist perspective. Emotion Review, 9(2), 111-117). The following research examines to what degree self-reported mixed emotions represent actual feelings compared to knowledge about the stimulus. In a series of three experiments, participants reported either their feelings or their knowledge in response to affective stimuli...
January 3, 2019: Cognition & Emotion
Benedikt Emanuel Wirth, Dirk Wentura
Dot-probe studies usually find an attentional bias towards threatening stimuli only in anxious participants, but not in non-anxious participants. In the present study, we conducted two experiments to investigate whether attentional bias towards angry faces in unselected samples is moderated by the extent to which the current task requires social processing. In Experiment 1, participants performed a dot-probe task involving classification of either socially meaningful targets (schematic faces) or meaningless targets (scrambled schematic faces)...
December 26, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Amy Dawel, Rachael Dumbleton, Richard O'Kearney, Luke Wright, Elinor McKone
We investigate perception of, and responses to, facial expression authenticity for the first time in social anxiety, testing genuine and polite smiles. Experiment 1 (N = 141) found perception of smile authenticity was unaffected, but that approach ratings, which are known to be reduced in social anxiety for happy faces, are more strongly reduced for genuine than polite smiles. Moreover, we found an independent contribution of social anxiety to approach ratings, over and above general negative affect (state/trait anxiety, depression), only for genuine smiles, and not for polite ones...
December 26, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Michele Morningstar, Joseph Venticinque, Eric E Nelson
Judgments of emotional stimuli's valence and arousal can differ based on the perceiver's age. With most of the existing literature on age-related changes in such ratings based on perceptions of visually-presented pictures or words, less is known about how youth and adults perceive and rate the affective information contained in auditory emotional stimuli. The current study examined age-related differences in adolescent (n = 31; 45% female; aged 12-17, M = 14.35, SD = 1.68) and adult listeners' (n = 30; 53% female; aged 21-30, M = 26...
December 25, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Gaën Plancher, Sarah Massol, Tiphaine Dorel, Hanna Chainay
Previous research has shown that emotional stimuli may interfere with working memory (WM) processes, but little is known about the process affected. Using a complex span task, the present study investigated the influence of processing negative emotional content on attentional maintenance in WM. In two experiments conducted under articulatory suppression, participants were asked to remember a series of five letters, each of which was followed by an image to be categorised. In half of the trials, the images were negative and in the other half, they were neutral...
December 25, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Nicolao Bonini, Michele Graffeo, Constantinos Hadjichristidis, Ilana Ritov
We examined whether enhancing (vs. not enhancing) the emotionality of a referent public good influences the subsequent valuation of a target public good. We predicted that it would and that the directionality of its impact would depend on a fundamental cognitive process - categorisation. If the target and referent goods belong to the same domain, we expected that the effect on the target would be in the same direction as the emotional enhancement of the referent (assimilation effect). However, if the target and referent goods belong to different domains, we expected that the effect on the target would be either negligible or in the opposite direction to that of the emotional enhancement of the referent (null or contrast effect)...
December 23, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Manuel G Calvo, Aida Gutiérrez-García, Andrés Fernández-Martín
We investigated the time course of selective attention to face regions during judgment of dis/approval by low (LSA) and high (HSA) social anxiety undergraduates (with clinical levels on questionnaire measures). The viewers' gaze direction was assessed and the stimulus visual saliency of face regions was computed, for video-clips displaying dynamic facial expressions. Social anxiety was related to perception of disapproval from faces with an ambiguous smile (i.e. with non-happy eyes), but not those with congruent happy eyes and a smile...
December 20, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Abbie L Coy, Nicole L Nelson, Catherine J Mondloch
We examined the utility of a gaze cueing paradigm to examine sensitivity to differences among negatively valenced expressions. Participants judged target stimuli (dangerous or safe), the location of which was cued by the gaze direction of a central face. Dawel et al. reported that gaze cueing effects (faster response times on valid vs. invalid trials) were larger when the central face displayed fear than when it displayed happiness. Our aim was to determine whether this effect was specific to fear, to all threat-related expressions (fear, anger), or to all negatively valenced expressions (fear, anger, sadness, disgust) with the aim of using this protocol to study the development of implicit discrimination of negatively valenced expressions...
December 18, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Lauren M Knott, Datin Shah
Previous research has shown that, in comparison to neutral stimuli, false memories for high arousing negative stimuli are greater after very fast presentation and limited attention at study. However, full compared to limited attention conditions still produce comparably more false memories for all stimuli types. Research has also shown that emotional stimuli benefit from a period of consolidation. What effect would such consolidation have on false memory formation even when attention is limited at study? The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of fast presentation on false memory production for negatively-arousing and neutral items over time using the DRM paradigm...
December 13, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Avi Frank, Sena Biberci, Bruno Verschuere
Is lying in a different language easier or more difficult? The Emotional Distance and the Cognitive Load hypothesis give competing answers. Suchotzki and Gamer measured the time native German speakers needed to initiate honest and deceptive answers to German and English questions. Lie-truth differences in RTs were much smaller for the foreign compared to the native language. In our preregistered replication study in native Dutch speakers, we found that lie-truth differences in RTs were moderately smaller when participants were tested in English than when tested in Dutch...
December 2, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Thorsten M Erle, Niklas Barth, Sascha Topolinski
Depression is marked by rigid thinking and the inability to generate different and more positive views on the self. The current study conceptualises this a perspective-taking deficit, which is defined as a deficit in the ability to overcome one's egocentrism. Previous research has demonstrated that individuals with depression are impaired in Theory of Mind reasoning and empathy - two social cognitions that involve cognitive and affective perspective-taking. Here, it was investigated whether these deficits generalise to visuo-spatial perspective-taking...
December 2, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Colin MacLeod
This brief reflection considers some of the important developments in anxiety-linked attentional bias research that have marked the three decades since the launch of Cognition and Emotion, and also identifies several challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I suggest that the steady increase in our capacity to distinguish differing facets of attentional bias and alternative dimensions of anxiety vulnerability, together with the advent of attentional bias modification techniques that can illuminate causality, has enriched theoretical understanding and created the exciting potential for clinical translation...
December 2, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Vanessa Panaite, Peter Koval, Egon Dejonckheere, Peter Kuppens
Naturalistic studies of emotional reactivity in depression have repeatedly found larger decreases in negative affect (NA) among depressed individuals in response to daily positive events. This so-called mood-brightening (MB) effect represents a theoretical and empirical oddity. The current study is a secondary analysis investigating whether the MB effect is moderated by spontaneous use of emotion regulation strategies, which have been implicated in the maintenance and modulation of NA in prior work. Participants (N = 95) representing a large spectrum of depressive symptom severity reported their experiences of NA and the occurrence of positive events in daily life over the course of seven days using the experience sampling method...
November 29, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Sinan Alper, Elif Oyku Us, Dicle Rojda Tasman
Popular culture has many examples of evil characters having vertically pupilled eyes. Humans have a long evolutionary history of rivalry with snakes and their visual systems were evolved to rapidly detect snakes and snake-related cues. Considering such evolutionary background, we hypothesised that humans would perceive vertical pupils, which are characteristics of ambush predators including some of the snakes, as threatening. In seven studies (aggregate N = 1458) conducted on samples from American and Turkish samples, we found that vertical pupils are perceived as more threatening on both explicit (Study 1) and implicit level (Studies 2-7) and they are associated with physical, rather than social, threat (Study 4)...
November 28, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Robert W Levenson
The publication of the first issue of Cognition & Emotion in 1987 helped open the floodgates to what has become a golden age of emotion research in the social and biological sciences. In this article, I describe the intellectual landscape of that era and trace key developments that helped foster the growth of the field of affective science. Looking back from a present-day perspective, I offer some thoughts on the major changes that have occurred over the past three decades, the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and my own personal journey toward becoming an affective scientist (which largely occurred during this period)...
November 26, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Hans Alves, Alex Koch, Christian Unkelbach
People judge positive information to be more alike than negative information. This good-bad asymmetry in similarity was argued to constitute a true property of the information ecology (Alves, H., Koch, A., & Unkelbach, C. (2017). Why good is more alike than bad: Processing implications. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21, 69-79). Alternatively, the asymmetry may constitute a processing outcome itself, namely an influence of phasic affect on information processing. Because no research has yet tested whether phasic affect influences perceived similarity among stimuli, we conducted 5 Experiments that also tested whether phasic affect can account for the higher judged similarity among positive compared to negative stimuli...
November 26, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Suzy J M A Matthijssen, Kevin van Schie, Marcel A van den Hout
Both auditory and visual emotional memories can be made less emotional by loading working memory (WM) during memory recall. Taxing WM during recall can be modality specific (giving an auditory [visuospatial] load during recall of an auditory [visual] memory) or cross modal (an auditory load during visual recall or vice versa). We tested whether modality specific loading taxes WM to a larger extent than cross modal loading. Ninety-six participants undertook a visual and auditory baseline Random Interval Repetition task (i...
November 22, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Jellie Sierksma, Gijsbert Bijlstra
Across two studies majority group children's (8-13 years) perception of positive and negative emotions in ethnic in-group and disadvantaged ethnic out-group peers was examined. Study 1 (N = 302) showed that children expected in-group peers to feel better in a positive situation compared to out-group peers. Whereas, in a negative situation, children expected in-group peers to feel less bad compared to out-group peers, particularly when they evaluated the in-group as very positive. Study 2 (N = 201) replicates these findings across multiple positive and negative situations, and additionally shows that in very negative situations children expect in-group and out-group peers to feel equally bad...
November 18, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
Adrienne Wood, Jared D Martin, Martha W Alibali, Paula M Niedenthal
Recognising a facial expression is more difficult when the expresser's body conveys incongruent affect. Existing research has documented such interference for universally recognisable bodily expressions. However, it remains unknown whether learned, conventional gestures can interfere with facial expression processing. Study 1 participants (N = 62) viewed videos of people simultaneously producing facial expressions and hand gestures and reported the valence of either the face or hand. Responses were slower and less accurate when the face-hand pairing was incongruent compared to congruent...
November 15, 2018: Cognition & Emotion
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