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Cognition & Emotion

Isabell Hühnel, Janka Kuszynski, Jens B Asendorpf, Ursula Hess
As intergenerational interactions increase due to an ageing population, the study of emotion-related responses to the elderly is increasingly relevant. Previous research found mixed results regarding affective mimicry - a measure related to liking and affiliation. In the current study, we investigated emotional mimicry to younger and older actors following an encounter with a younger and older player in a Cyberball game. In a complete exclusion condition, in which both younger and older players excluded the participant, we expected emotional mimicry to be stronger for younger vs...
February 6, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
K Lira Yoon, Joelle LeMoult, Atayeh Hamedani, Randi McCabe
Researchers have postulated that deficits in cognitive control are associated with, and thus may underlie, the perseverative thinking that characterises generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). We examined associations between cognitive control and levels of spontaneous state rumination following a stressor in a sample of healthy control participants (CTL; n = 27) and participants with GAD (n = 21). We assessed cognitive control by measuring working memory capacity (WMC), defined as the ability to maintain task-relevant information by ignoring task-irrelevant information...
February 3, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Baptiste Subra, Dominique Muller, Lisa Fourgassie, Alan Chauvin, Theodore Alexopoulos
Previous studies suggest that ancient (i.e. evolutionary-based) threats capture attention because human beings possess an inborn module shaped by evolution and dedicated to their detection. An alternative account proposes that a key feature predicting whether a stimulus will capture attention is its relevance rather than its ontology (i.e. phylogenetic or ontogenetic threat). Within this framework, the present research deals with the attentional capture by threats commonly encountered in our urban environment...
February 3, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Benedikt Werner, Elisabeth von Ramin, Adriaan Spruyt, Klaus Rothermund
After 30 years of research, the mechanisms underlying the evaluative priming effect are still a topic of debate. In this study, we tested whether the evaluative priming effect can result from (uncontrolled) associative relatedness rather than evaluative congruency. Stimuli that share the same evaluative connotation are more likely to show some degree of non-evaluative associative relatedness than stimuli that have a different evaluative connotation. Therefore, unless associative relatedness is explicitly controlled for, evaluative priming effects reported in earlier research may be driven by associative relatedness instead of evaluative relatedness...
February 2, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Camilla C Luck, Ottmar V Lipp
Negative conditional stimulus (CS) valence acquired during fear conditioning may enhance fear relapse and is difficult to remove as it extinguishes slowly and does not respond to the instruction that unconditional stimulus (US) presentations will cease. We examined whether instructions targeting CS valence would be more effective. In Experiment 1, an image of one person (CS+) was paired with an aversive US, while another (CS-) was presented alone. After acquisition, participants were given positive information about the CS+ poser and negative information about the CS- poser...
January 31, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Saz P Ahmed, Sara Hodsoll, Polly Dalton, Catherine L Sebastian
Task-irrelevant emotional expressions are known to capture attention, with the extent of "emotional capture" varying with psychopathic traits in antisocial samples. We investigated whether this variation extends throughout the continuum of psychopathic traits (and co-occurring trait anxiety) in a community sample. Participants (N = 85) searched for a target face among facial distractors. As predicted, angry and fearful faces interfered with search, indicated by slower reaction times relative to neutral faces...
January 20, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Katharina Kircanski, Renee J Thompson, James Sorenson, Lindsey Sherdell, Ian H Gotlib
Rumination and worry are two perseverative, negatively valenced thought processes that characterise depressive and anxiety disorders. Despite significant research interest, little is known about the everyday precipitants and consequences of rumination and worry. Using an experience sampling methodology, we examined and compared rumination and worry with respect to their relations to daily events and affective experience. Participants diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), co-occurring MDD-GAD, or no diagnosis carried an electronic device for one week and reported on rumination, worry, significant events, positive affect (PA), and negative affect (NA)...
January 20, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Dalya Samur, Mattie Tops, Sander L Koole
Prior experiments indicated that reading literary fiction improves mentalising performance relative to reading popular fiction, non-fiction, or not reading. However, the experiments had relatively small sample sizes and hence low statistical power. To address this limitation, the present authors conducted four high-powered replication experiments (combined N = 1006) testing the causal impact of reading literary fiction on mentalising. Relative to the original research, the present experiments used the same literary texts in the reading manipulation; the same mentalising task; and the same kind of participant samples...
January 17, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Nathan A Ryckman, Donna Rose Addis, Andrew J Latham, Anthony J Lambert
Whether intentional suppression of an unpleasant or unwanted memory reduces the ability to recall that memory subsequently is a contested issue in contemporary memory research. Building on findings that similar processes are recruited when individuals remember the past and imagine the future, we measured the effects of thought suppression on memory for imagined future scenarios. Thought suppression reduced the ability to recall emotionally negative scenarios, but not those that were emotionally positive. This finding suggests that intentionally avoiding thoughts about emotionally negative episodes may inhibit representations of those memories, progressively reducing their availability to recall...
January 9, 2017: Cognition & Emotion
Steven G Young, Christopher A Thorstenson, Adam D Pazda
Past research has found that skin colouration, particularly facial redness, influences the perceived health and emotional state of target individuals. In the current work, we explore several extensions of this past research. In Experiment 1, we manipulated facial redness incrementally on neutral and angry faces and had participants rate each face for anger and health. Different red effects emerged, as perceived anger increased in a linear manner as facial redness increased. Health ratings instead showed a curvilinear trend, as both extreme paleness and redness were rated as less healthy than moderate levels of red...
December 29, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Corinne Green, Kun Guo
Individuals vary in perceptual accuracy when categorising facial expressions, yet it is unclear how these individual differences in non-clinical population are related to cognitive processing stages at facial information acquisition and interpretation. We tested 104 healthy adults in a facial expression categorisation task, and correlated their categorisation accuracy with face-viewing gaze allocation and personal traits assessed with Autism Quotient, anxiety inventory and Self-Monitoring Scale. The gaze allocation had limited but emotion-specific impact on categorising expressions...
December 29, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Steven G Young, John Paul Wilson
Emotion expressions convey valuable information about others' internal states and likely behaviours. Accurately identifying expressions is critical for social interactions, but so is perceiver confidence when decoding expressions. Even if a perceiver correctly labels an expression, uncertainty may impair appropriate behavioural responses and create uncomfortable interactions. Past research has found that perceivers report greater confidence when identifying emotions displayed by cultural ingroup members, an effect attributed to greater perceptual skill and familiarity with own-culture than other-culture faces...
December 28, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Thomas W Schubert, Janis H Zickfeld, Beate Seibt, Alan Page Fiske
Feeling moved or touched can be accompanied by tears, goosebumps, and sensations of warmth in the centre of the chest. The experience has been described frequently, but psychological science knows little about it. We propose that labelling one's feeling as being moved or touched is a component of a social-relational emotion that we term kama muta (its Sanskrit label). We hypothesise that it is caused by appraising an intensification of communal sharing relations. Here, we test this by investigating people's moment-to-moment reports of feeling moved and touched while watching six short videos...
December 26, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Ursula Hess, Shlomo Hareli
Research on the relationship between context and facial expressions generally assumes a unidirectional effect of context on expressions. However, according to the model of the meaning of emotion expressions in context (MEEC) the effect should be bidirectional. The present research tested the effect of emotion expression on the interpretation of scenes. A total of 380 participants either (a) rated facial expressions with regard to the likely appraisal of the eliciting situation by the emoter, (b) appraised the scenes alone or (c) appraised scenes shown together with the expressions they supposedly elicited...
December 21, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Virginie Peschard, Pierre Philippot, Eva Gilboa-Schechtman
Social-rank cues communicate social status or social power within and between groups. Information about social-rank is fluently processed in both visual and auditory modalities. So far, the investigation on the processing of social-rank cues has been limited to studies in which information from a single modality was assessed or manipulated. Yet, in everyday communication, multiple information channels are used to express and understand social-rank. We sought to examine the (in)voluntary nature of processing of facial and vocal signals of social-rank using a cross-modal Stroop task...
December 21, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Karl-Heinz Renner, Michael Hock, Ralf Bergner-Köther, Lothar Laux
The differentiation of trait anxiety and depression in nonclinical and clinical populations is addressed. Following the tripartite model, it is assumed that anxiety and depression share a large portion of negative affectivity (NA), but differ with respect to bodily hyperarousal (specific to anxiety) and anhedonia (lack of positive affect; specific to depression). In contrast to the tripartite model, NA is subdivided into worry (characteristic for anxiety) and dysthymia (characteristic for depression), which leads to a four-variable model of anxiety and depression encompassing emotionality, worry, dysthymia, and anhedonia...
December 8, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Lori M Hilt, Michael R Sladek, Leah D Doane, Catherine B Stroud
Rumination is a maladaptive form of emotion regulation associated with psychopathology. Research with adults suggests that rumination covaries with diurnal cortisol rhythms, yet this has not been examined among adolescents. Here, we examine the day-to-day covariation between rumination and cortisol, and explore whether trait rumination is associated with alterations in diurnal cortisol rhythms among adolescent girls. Participants (N = 122) provided saliva samples 3 times per day over 3 days, along with daily reports of stress and rumination, questionnaires assessing trait rumination related to peer stress, and diagnostic interviews assessing depression and anxiety...
December 6, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Nina N Thigpen, Andreas Keil, Alexandra M Freund
Processing the motivational relevance of a visual scene and reacting accordingly is crucial for survival. Previous work suggests the emotional content of naturalistic scenes affects response speed, such that unpleasant content slows responses whereas pleasant content accelerates responses. It is unclear whether these effects reflect motor-cognitive processes, such as attentional orienting, or vary with the function/outcome of the motor response itself. Four experiments manipulated participants' ability to terminate the picture (offset control) and, thereby, the response's function and motivational value...
December 6, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Lindsay K Staples-Bradley, Michael Treanor, Michelle G Craske
Individuals with anxiety disorders show deficits in the discrimination between a cue that predicts an aversive outcome and a safe stimulus that predicts the absence of that outcome. This impairment has been linked to increased spontaneous recovery of fear following extinction, however it is unknown if there is a link between discrimination and return of fear in a novel context (i.e. context renewal). It is also unknown if impaired discrimination mediates the relationship between trait anxiety and either spontaneous recovery or context renewal...
December 6, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Olivier Morin, Alberto Acerbi
The presence of emotional words and content in stories has been shown to enhance a story's memorability, and its cultural success. Yet, recent cultural trends run in the opposite direction. Using the Google Books corpus, coupled with two metadata-rich corpora of Anglophone fiction books, we show a decrease in emotionality in English-speaking literature starting plausibly in the nineteenth century. We show that this decrease cannot be explained by changes unrelated to emotionality (such as demographic dynamics concerning age or gender balance, changes in vocabulary richness, or changes in the prevalence of literary genres), and that, in our three corpora, the decrease is driven almost entirely by a decline in the proportion of positive emotion-related words, while the frequency of negative emotion-related words shows little if any decline...
December 2, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
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