Article

Attentional inhibition has social-emotional consequences for unfamiliar faces.

MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
Psychological Science (Impact Factor: 4.43). 11/2005; 16(10):753-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01609.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Visual attention studies often rely on response time measures to show the impact of attentional facilitation and inhibition. Here we extend the investigation of the effects of attention on behavior and show that prior attentional states associated with unfamiliar faces can influence subsequent social-emotional judgments about those faces. Participants were shown pairs of face images and were asked to withhold a response if a transparent stop-signal cue appeared over one of the faces. This served to associate the cued face with an inhibitory state. Later, when asked to make social-emotional choices about these face pairs, participants chose uncued faces more often than cued faces as "more trustworthy" and chose cued faces more often than uncued faces as "less trustworthy." For perceptual choices, there was no effect of how the question was framed (which face is "on a lighter background" vs. "on a darker background"). These results suggest that attentional inhibition can be associated with socially relevant stimuli, such as faces, and can have specific, deleterious effects on social-emotional judgments.

0 Followers
 · 
173 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Voluntary behavior is mediated by two major brain systems – selective attention and emotion – reciprocally interacting to prioritize the task at hand and enabling efficient functioning. Evidence on the influence of attention on emotion indicates that selective inhibition reduces the perceptual and emotional saliency of interfering input to avoid the further capturing of attention. This distractor devaluation effect is contradicting the major basis of advertising stemming from the mere exposure predictions, that is, that repetition of certain information is gradually increasing favorability towards the latter. Under attentional load, the presentation of distracting input appears to be emotionally devalued. Pop-up ads, a basic means of online advertising, are distracting in nature and demonstrate a real-life example of the distractor devaluation effect. Future research is necessary to provide insight to the conditions under which affective devaluation of pop-up ads occurs. Proposed questions in this line of research are considered.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the current chapter, we focus on evaluative consequences of successfully implementing an intended action. In the first part of the chapter, we review research showing the affective devaluation of objects that are in conflict with intended actions (i.e., the distractor devaluation effect); devaluation here refers to more negative (or less positive) evaluations of distracting stimuli after episodes of intentional selection (i.e., intentionally responding to certain stimuli in a way that requires ignoring distractors). In doing so, we focus on recent evidence supporting the assumption that this devaluation occurs in particular for interference-creating stimuli. In the second part of the chapter, we turn to the potential downstream consequences of distractor devaluation. First, we provide evidence that evaluative consequences of distractor devaluation and mere exposure can systematically influence intergroup bias. Second, we show how prior devaluation processes may bias subsequent selection processes in favor of executing intended actions. Thus, whereas most of the current research on action control focuses on how people best translate their intentions into action, the present chapter addresses the further question of how the execution of behavioral intentions leads to changes in affect that facilitate the maintenance of one’s intentions in the long run.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reward-predicting stimuli can induce maladaptive behavior by provoking action tendencies that conflict with long-term goals. Earlier, we showed that when human participants were permitted to respond for a reward in the presence of a task-irrelevant, reward-predicting stimulus (i.e. goCS+ trials), the CS+ provoked an action tendency to respond compared to when a non-rewarding CS- stimulus was present (i.e. goCS- trials). However, when participants were not permitted to respond, response suppression was recruited to mitigate the action tendency that was triggered by the motivating CS+ stimulus (i.e. on nogoCS+ trials) (Freeman, Razhas, & Aron, 2014). Here we tested the hypothesis that repeated response suppression over a motivationally-triggered action tendency would reduce subsequent CS+ provocation. We compared groups of participants who had different proportions of nogoCS+ trials, and we measured CS+ provocation on go trials via reaction time. Our results showed that CS+ provocation on go trials was reduced monotonically as the proportion of nogoCS+ trials increased. Further analysis showed that these group differences were best explained by reduced provocation on goCS+ trials that followed nogoCS+ (compared to nogoCS-) trials. Follow-up experiments using a neurophysiological index of motor activity replicated these effects and also suggested that, following nogoCS+ trials, a response suppression mechanism was in place to help prevent subsequent CS+ provocation. Thus, our results show that performing response suppression in the face of a motivating stimulus not only controls responding at that time, but also prevents provocation in the near future. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuropsychologia 01/2015; 68. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.01.016 · 3.45 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
79 Downloads
Available from
May 17, 2014