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Happy but still focused: failures to find evidence for a mood-induced widening of visual attention.

Authors
  • Bruyneel, Lynn
  • van Steenbergen, Henk
  • Hommel, Bernhard
  • Band, Guido P H
  • De Raedt, Rudi
  • Koster, Ernst H W
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological research
Publication Date
May 01, 2013
Volume
77
Issue
3
Pages
320–332
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00426-012-0432-1
PMID: 22466376
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In models of affect and cognition, it is held that positive affect broadens the scope of attention. Consistent with this claim, previous research has indeed suggested that positive affect is associated with impaired selective attention as evidenced by increased interference of spatially distant distractors. However, several recent findings cast doubt on the reliability of this observation. In the present study, we examined whether selective attention in a visual flanker task is influenced by positive mood induction. Across three experiments, positive affect consistently failed to exert any impact on selective attention. The implications of this null-finding for theoretical models of affect and cognition are discussed.

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