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Cognition & Emotion

Akos Szekely, Suparna Rajaram, Aprajita Mohanty
It is hypothesised that threatening stimuli are detected better due to their salience or physical properties. However, these stimuli are typically embedded in a rich context, motivating the question whether threat detection is facilitated via learning of contexts in which threat stimuli appear. To address this question, we presented threatening face targets in new or old spatial configurations consisting of schematic faces and found that detection of threatening targets was faster in old configurations. This indicates that individuals are able to learn regularities within visual contexts and use this contextual information to guide detection of threatening targets...
October 24, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Morganne A Kraines, Lucas J A Kelberer, Tony T Wells
Research demonstrates that women experience disgust more readily and with more intensity than men. The experience of disgust is associated with increased attention to disgust-related stimuli, but no prior study has examined sex differences in attention to disgust facial expressions. We hypothesised that women, compared to men, would demonstrate increased attention to disgust facial expressions. Participants (n = 172) completed an eye tracking task to measure visual attention to emotional facial expressions...
October 15, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Diana-Mirela Cândea, Aurora Szentágotai-Tătar
Evidence shows that people with high social anxiety levels ruminate about distressing social events, which contributes to the maintenance of social anxiety symptoms. The present study aimed to explore the role of shame in maintaining post-event rumination (PER) following a negative social event (an impromptu speech with negative feedback) in a student sample (N = 104). Participants reported negative rumination related to the event one day and one week after the speech. PER measured one day after the speech was not associated with social anxiety symptoms and state anxiety...
October 15, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Lena Nadarevic
People typically remember emotionally negative words better than neutral words. Two experiments are reported that investigate whether emotionally enhanced memory (EEM) for negatively arousing words is based on a storage or retrieval advantage. Participants studied non-word-word pairs that either involved negatively arousing or neutral target words. Memory for these target words was tested by means of a recognition test and a cued-recall test. Data were analysed with a multinomial model that allows the disentanglement of storage and retrieval processes in the present recognition-then-cued-recall paradigm...
October 14, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Tania Bermudez, Alessandra S Souza
Ageing is associated with declines in several cognitive abilities including working memory (WM). The goal of the present study was to assess whether emotional information could reduce the age gap in the quantity and quality (precision) of representations in visual WM. Young and older adults completed a serial image recognition (SIR) task and a colour-image binding (CIB) task. Results of the SIR task showed worse performance for negative than neutral and positive images within the older group, hence enlarging the age gap in WM...
October 5, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Penelope Hasking, Janis Whitlock, David Voon, Alyssa Rose
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a complex behaviour, routinely engaged for emotion regulatory purposes. As such, a number of theoretical accounts regarding the aetiology and maintenance of NSSI are grounded in models of emotion regulation; the role that cognition plays in the behaviour is less well known. In this paper, we summarise four models of emotion regulation that have repeatedly been related to NSSI and identify the core components across them. We then draw on social cognitive theory to unite models of cognition and models of emotion in developing a new cognitive-emotional model of NSSI...
October 5, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Guy Roth, Noa Shane, Yaniv Kanat-Maymon
Considering that negative intergroup emotions can hinder conflict resolution, we proposed integrative emotion regulation (IER) as possibly predicting conciliatory policies towards outgroups in violent conflict. Two studies examined Jewish Israelis' self-reported IER, empathy, liberal attitudes, and support for humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Study 1 (N = 298) found that unlike reappraisal Jewish Israelis' ability to explore emotions (e.g. IER) promoted concern for others' emotions (empathy), which in turn predicted support for humanitarian aid (while controlling for education level, and religiosity)...
October 3, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Kylie M Routledge, Karen L O Burton, Leanne M Williams, Anthony Harris, Peter R Schofield, C Richard Clark, Justine M Gatt
Alterations to cognitive function are often reported with depression and anxiety symptoms, yet few studies have examined the same associations with mental well-being. This study examined the association between mental well-being, depression and anxiety symptoms and cognitive function in 1502 healthy adult monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, and the shared/unique contribution of genetic (G) and environmental (E) variance. Using linear mixed models, mental well-being was positively associated (p < ...
September 30, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Manuel Petrucci, Anna Pecchinenda
The role of cognitive control mechanisms in reducing interference from emotionally salient distractors was investigated. In two experiments, participants performed a flanker task in which target-distractor affective compatibility and cognitive load were manipulated. Differently from past studies, targets and distractors were presented at separate spatial locations and cognitive load was not domain-specific. In Experiment 1, words (positive vs. negative) and faces (angry, happy or neutral faces), were used respectively as targets and distractors, whereas in Experiment 2, both targets (happy vs...
September 30, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Yannick Boddez, Marc Patrick Bennett, Silke van Esch, Tom Beckers
Generalising what is learned about one stimulus to other but perceptually related stimuli is a basic behavioural phenomenon. We evaluated whether a rule learning mechanism may serve to explain such generalisation. To this end, we assessed whether inference rules communicated through verbal instructions affect generalisation. Expectancy ratings, but not valence ratings, proved sensitive to this manipulation. In addition to revealing a role for inference rules in generalisation, our study has clinical implications as well...
September 28, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Kiat Hui Khng
A pre-test/post-test, intervention-versus-control experimental design was used to examine the effects, mechanisms and moderators of deep breathing on state anxiety and test performance in 122 Primary 5 students. Taking deep breaths before a timed math test significantly reduced self-reported feelings of anxiety and improved test performance. There was a statistical trend towards greater effectiveness in reducing state anxiety for boys compared to girls, and in enhancing test performance for students with higher autonomic reactivity in test-like situations...
September 26, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Keren Maoz, Amy B Adler, Paul D Bliese, Maurice L Sipos, Phillip J Quartana, Yair Bar-Haim
This study explored attention and interpretation biases in processing facial expressions as correlates of theoretically distinct self-reported anger experience, expression, and control. Non-selected undergraduate students (N = 101) completed cognitive tasks measuring attention bias, interpretation bias, and Spielberger's State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI-2). Attention bias toward angry faces was associated with higher trait anger and anger expression and with lower anger control-in and anger control-out...
September 22, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Nadia Garnefski, Vivian Kraaij
The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which cognitive emotion regulation strategies were "common or transdiagnostic correlates" of symptoms of depression and anxiety and/or "specific correlates" distinguishing one problem category from the other. The sample comprised 582 13- to 16-year-old secondary school students. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were measured by the SCL-90, and cognitive emotion regulation strategies were measured by the CERQ, in a cross-sectional design. Multivariate regression analyses were performed...
September 20, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Lotte Veenstra, Iris K Schneider, Sander L Koole
Previous work has shown that a stooped posture may activate negative mood. Extending this work, the present experiments examine how stooped body posture influences recovery from pre-existing negative mood. In Experiment 1 (n   =   229), participants were randomly assigned to receive either a negative or neutral mood induction, after which participants were instructed to take either a stooped, straight, or control posture while writing down their thoughts. Stooped posture (compared to straight or control postures) led to less mood recovery in the negative mood condition, and more negative mood in the neutral mood condition...
September 14, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Jeffrey S Simons, Noah N Emery, Raluca M Simons, Thomas A Wills, Michael K Webb
This study modelled associations between gender, ruminative cognitive style, alcohol use, and the time course of negative affect over the course of 43,111 random assessments in the natural environment. Participants (N   =   263) completed 49 days of experience sampling over 1.3 years. The data indicated that rumination at baseline was positively associated with alcohol dependence symptoms at baseline as well as higher negative affect over the course of the study. Consistent with negative reinforcement models, drinking served to decrease the persistence of negative affect from moment to moment...
September 9, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Friederike Funk, Mirella Walker, Alexander Todorov
Perceptions of criminality and remorse are critical for legal decision-making. While faces perceived as criminal are more likely to be selected in police lineups and to receive guilty verdicts, faces perceived as remorseful are more likely to receive less severe punishment recommendations. To identify the information that makes a face appear criminal and/or remorseful, we successfully used two different data-driven computational approaches that led to convergent findings: one relying on the use of computer-generated faces, and the other on photographs of people...
September 7, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Gregory Bartoszek, Daniel Cervone
Although implicit tests of positive and negative affect exist, implicit measures of distinct emotional states are scarce. Three experiments examined whether a novel implicit emotion-assessment task, the rating of emotion expressed in abstract images, would reveal distinct emotional states. In Experiment 1, participants exposed to a sadness-inducing story inferred more sadness, and less happiness, in abstract images. In Experiment 2, an anger-provoking interaction increased anger ratings. In Experiment 3, compared to neutral images, spider images increased fear ratings in spider-fearful participants but not in controls...
September 7, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Timothy J Ganly, Karen Salmon, John McDowall
Individuals higher on avoidant coping may remember fewer specific autobiographical memories and more nonspecific memories on the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) in order to protect themselves from the painful emotions accompanying some specific memories. Habitually remembering this way (overgeneral memory) may be a risk factor for depression. In Studies 1 and 2 (nondepressed samples), avoidant coping was associated with more specific memories and fewer overgeneral memories, at odds with the functional avoidance view...
September 7, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Weizhen Xie, Huanhuan Li, Xiangyu Ying, Shiyou Zhu, Rong Fu, Yingmin Zou, Yanyan Cui
How does the affective nature of task stimuli modulate working memory (WM)? This study investigates whether WM maintains emotional information in a biased manner to meet the motivational principle of approaching positivity and avoiding negativity by retaining more approach-related positive content over avoidance-related negative content. This bias may exist regardless of individual differences in WM functionality, as indexed by WM capacity (overall bias hypothesis). Alternatively, this bias may be contingent on WM capacity (capacity-based hypothesis), in which a better WM system may be more likely to reveal an adaptive bias...
August 24, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
Kate Muir, Anna Madill, Charity Brown
The capacity to perceive internal bodily states is linked to emotional awareness and effective emotional regulation. We explore individual differences in emotional awareness in relation to the fading affect bias (FAB), which refers to the greater dwindling of unpleasant compared to pleasant emotions in autobiographical memory. We consider interoceptive awareness and alexithymia in relation to the FAB, and private event rehearsal as a mediating process. With increasing interoceptive awareness, there was an enhanced FAB, but with increasing alexithymia, there was a decreased FAB...
August 24, 2016: Cognition & Emotion
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