Automatic vigilance: the attention-grabbing power of approach- and avoidance-related social information.

Department of Psychology, University of Münster, Germany.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 07/2000; 78(6):1024-37. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.78.6.1024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The automatic processing of information was investigated, varying valence (positive vs. negative) and relevance (other-relevant traits [ORT] vs. possessor-relevant traits [PRT]; G. Peeters, 1983) of stimuli. ORTs denote unconditionally positive or negative consequences for persons in the social environment of the holder of the trait (e.g., honest, brutal) whereas PRTs denote unconditionally positive or negative consequences for the trait holder (e.g., happy, depressive). In 2 experiments using the Stroop paradigm, larger interference effects were found for ORTs than PRTs. This is due to the behavior-relatedness of ORTs. In a go/no-go lexical decision task (Experiment 3), participants either had to withdraw their finger from a pressed key (i.e., "avoid") or had to press a key (i.e., "approach") if a word was presented. Responses to negative ORTs were relatively faster in the withdraw condition, whereas positive ORTs were relatively faster in the press condition.

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    ABSTRACT: PROCESSING OF THE EMOTIONAL VALUE OF WORDS IN AN EMOTIONAL STROOP TASK BY LATE HUNGARIAN–SERBIAN BILINGUALS GRABOVAC, BEÁTA – PLÉH, CSABA In the past few years many studies have focused on the processing of emotional information in bilinguals. Among the groups studied there are early and late bilinguals, varying language dominance and different language combinations. Many cognitive scientists have emphasized executive functioning in bilinguals and this trend can be followed up in the processing of affective information as well, which is signalized by the emergence of tasks measuring executive functions at the affective level. The aim of our research was to examine how deeply is the emotional information processed in an emotional Stroop-task by Hungarian-Serbian late bilinguals in Hungarian and Serbian. The emotional information was present as an irrelevant distractor. Our results have shown that late bilinguals with lower proficiency in their second language show a language independent emotional Stroop-effect, the negative information being processed slower than the neutral one and language dominance can also be seen through shorter reaction time in the native language. Key words: emotional Stroop task, Hungarian–Serbian bilingualism, emotion-laden words, executive functioning
    Magyar Pszichológiai Szemle 12/2014; 69:731-745. DOI:10.1556/MPSzle.69.2014.4.5.
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to regulate our emotional responses is crucial to effective functioning in daily life. Whilst there has been extensive study of the brain potentials related to valenced stimuli, the neural basis of the ability to regulate actions elicited by these remains to be clarified. To address this, 40 volunteers undertook an approach-avoidance paradigm. In the congruent condition, participants approached pleasant and avoided unpleasant stimuli. In the incongruent condition, the opposite was the case, requiring the regulation of natural emotional response tendencies. Both behavioural and electrophysiological indices of emotional regulation were recorded. Congruency effects were observed at both the behavioural and electrophysiological level. Reaction times were faster and the LPP larger, when performing emotionally congruous relative to incongruous actions. Moreover, neural and behavioural effects were correlated. The current results suggest that the LPP congruency effect can be considered a neural marker of individual differences in emotion driven action tendencies. We discuss whether this reflects emotion regulation, effort allocation, or correct mapping of stimulus response tendencies. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Biological Psychology 01/2015; 105. DOI:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.01.009 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Approach and avoidance tendencies towards valenced others could be associated with our interpersonal conduct towards them: helping would be associated with approach tendency, and harming (or denying help) would be associated with avoidance. We propose that the encoding of this association enjoys attentional priority, as approach/avoidance representations of past interactions would regulate one's predisposition to either help or harm in subsequent interactions. Participants listened to interactions conveying positive/negative conduct between 2 characters. The conduct verb was then presented visually with a cue prompting participants to quickly step forward or backward. Subsequently, they performed a recognition task of noncentral story details. In matching conditions (positive conduct-step forward, negative conduct-step backward) the concurrent step should interfere with the encoding of motor representation of the conduct verb, and the verb encoding should divert attentional resources from the consolidation of memory traces of less relevant information. Results showed the predicted impairment in the recognition task in matching conditions, which supports an attentional bias towards encoding motor approach/avoidance representation of interpersonal conduct in the process of comprehending narrated interactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).


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Jun 27, 2014