Reports an error in "It's a bittersweet symphony: Simultaneously mixed emotional responses to music with conflicting cues" by Jeff T. Larsen and Bradley J. Stastny (Emotion, 2011, np). In the first paragraph on page 5, the word "inches" was omitted from the sentence, "As noted by Sir Arthur Eddington (1939; see Cacioppo & Berntson, 1994), scientists who cast nets with 2 mesh into the sea may catch many fish, but none of them will be smaller than 2." The corrected sentence is provided in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-12883-001.) Some evidence indicates that emotional reactions to music can be organized along a bipolar valence dimension ranging from pleasant states (e.g., happiness) to unpleasant states (e.g., sadness), but songs can contain some cues that elicit happiness (e.g., fast tempos) and others that elicit sadness (e.g., minor modes). Some models of emotion contend that valence is a basic building block of emotional experience, which implies that songs with conflicting cues cannot make people feel happy and sad at the same time. Other models contend that positivity and negativity are separable in experience, which implies that music with conflicting cues might elicit simultaneously mixed emotions of happiness and sadness. Hunter, Schellenberg, and Schimmack (2008) tested these possibilities by having subjects report their happiness and sadness after listening to music with conflicting cues (e.g., fast songs in minor modes) and consistent cues (e.g., fast songs in major modes). Results indicated that music with conflicting cues elicited mixed emotions, but it remains unclear whether subjects simultaneously felt happy and sad or merely vacillated between happiness and sadness. To examine these possibilities, we had subjects press one button whenever they felt happy and another button whenever they felt sad as they listened to songs with conflicting and consistent cues. Results revealed that subjects spent more time simultaneously pressing both buttons during songs with conflicting, as opposed to consistent, cues. These findings indicate that songs with conflicting cues can simultaneously elicit happiness and sadness and that positivity and negativity are separable in experience. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Assessing the way people look to judge their intentions" by J. Bruno Debruille, Mathieu B. Brodeur and Ursula Hess ( Emotion , 2011[Jun], Vol 11, 533-543). Figure 1 should have been printed in color. The online version has been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-11794-006 .) Faces of unknown persons are processed to infer the intentions of these persons not only when they depict full-blown emotions, but also at rest, or when these faces do not signal any strong feelings. We explored the brain processes involved in these inferences to test whether they are similar to those found when judging full-blown emotions. We recorded the event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by faces of unknown persons who, when they were photographed, were not asked to adopt any particular expression. During the ERP recording, participants had to decide whether each face appeared to be that of a positively, negatively, ambiguously, or neutrally intentioned person. The early posterior negativity, the EPN, was found smaller for neutrally categorized faces than for the other faces, suggesting that the automatic processes it indexes are similar to those evoked by full-blown expressions and thus that these processes might be involved in the decoding of intentions. In contrast, in the same 200–400 ms time window, ERPs were not more negative at anterior sites for neutrally intentioned faces. Second, the peaks of the late positive potentials (LPPs) maximal at parietal sites around 700 ms postonset were not significantly smaller for neutrally intentioned faces. Third, the slow positive waves that followed the LPP were larger for faces that took more time to categorize, that is, for ambiguously intentioned faces. These three series of unexpected results may indicate processes similar to those triggered by full-blown emotions studies, but they question the characteristics of these processes.
Although multiple neuroimaging studies suggest that affect labeling (i.e., putting feelings into words) can dampen affect-related responses in the amygdala, the consequences of affect labeling have not been examined in other channels of emotional responding. We conducted four studies examining the effect of affect labeling on self-reported emotional experience. In study one, self-reported distress was lower during affect labeling, compared to passive watching, of negative emotional pictures. Studies two and three added reappraisal and distraction conditions, respectively. Affect labeling showed similar effects on self-reported distress as both of these intentional emotion regulation strategies. In each of the first three studies, however, participant predictions about the effects of affect labeling suggest that unlike reappraisal and distraction, people do not believe affect labeling to be an effective emotion regulation strategy. Even after having the experience of affect labels leading to lower distress, participants still predicted that affect labeling would increase distress in the future. Thus, affect labeling is best described as an incidental emotion regulation process. Finally, study four employed positive emotional pictures and here, affect labeling was associated with diminished self-reported pleasure, relative to passive watching. This suggests that affect labeling tends to dampen affective responses in general, rather than specifically alleviating negative affect.
Does trauma exposure have a long-term impact on the brain and behavior of healthy individuals? The authors used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the impact of proximity to the disaster of September 11, 2001, on amygdala function in 22 healthy adults. More than three years after the terrorist attacks, bilateral amygdala activity in response to viewing fearful faces compared to calm ones was higher in people who were within 1.5 miles of the World Trade Center on 9/11, relative to those who were living more than 200 miles away (all were living in the New York metropolitan area at time of scan). This activity mediated the relationship between group status and current symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. In turn, the effect of group status on both amygdala activation (fearful vs. calm faces) and current symptoms was statistically explained by time since worst trauma in lifetime and intensity of worst trauma, as indicated by reported symptoms at time of the trauma. These data are consistent with a model of heightened amygdala reactivity following high-intensity trauma exposure, with relatively slow recovery.
In this article, we present FACSGen 2.0, new animation software for creating static and dynamic three-dimensional facial expressions on the basis of the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). FACSGen permits total control over the action units (AUs), which can be animated at all levels of intensity and applied alone or in combination to an infinite number of faces. In two studies, we tested the validity of the software for the AU appearance defined in the FACS manual and the conveyed emotionality of FACSGen expressions. In Experiment 1, four FACS-certified coders evaluated the complete set of 35 single AUs and 54 AU combinations for AU presence or absence, appearance quality, intensity, and asymmetry. In Experiment 2, lay participants performed a recognition task on emotional expressions created with FACSGen software and rated the similarity of expressions displayed by human and FACSGen faces. Results showed good to excellent classification levels for all AUs by the four FACS coders, suggesting that the AUs are valid exemplars of FACS specifications. Lay participants' recognition rates for nine emotions were high, and comparisons of human and FACSGen expressions were very similar. The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the software in producing reliable and emotionally valid expressions, and suggest its application in numerous scientific areas, including perception, emotion, and clinical and neuroscience research.
There is now sufficient work in the literature on emotional intelligence to suggest that this construct or series of constructs deserves serious attention, but several questions remain as to adequate construct validation as well as to the emergence and development of these constructs. There is a need to conduct convergent and divergent validity studies on a midlife sample that is likely to show the optimal level of differentiation of the new constructs. The reference domain of cognitive intelligence should be constructed in a multiple-construct manner, and the validation procedure should use confirmatory factor analysis and P. S. Dwyer's (1937) extension method. Once properly validated, there is a need to study the emergence, age differences, and age changes in the level and structure of emotional intelligence. A paradigm that investigates the invariance of factor structure across age and uses the model of differentiation-dedifferentiation would be useful for this purpose.
P. Rozin and A. B. Cohen (2003) contend that confusion is an emotion because it is valenced, it has a distinct facial expression, and it has a distinct internal state. On the basis of these criteria, they call for further study of this unstudied stateand challenge emotion researchers to consider "confusion" to be an emotion. The author agrees with Rozin and Cohen (2003) that confusion is an affective state, is valenced, has an (internal) object, may be expressed facially, and that laypersons may, under certain circumstances, consider it an emotion. However, its expression is likely to be an expressive component of emotions for which goal obstruction is central. Further, confusion may also not be as commonly considered an emotion by laypersons, as Rozin and Cohen contend. Finally, confusion is not unstudied, only most of the time it is not emotion researchers who do the researching.
This investigation uncovered several substantial errors in the confirmatory factor analysis results reported by J. D. Mayer, P. Salovey, D. R. Caruso, and G. Sitarenios (see record 2003-02341-015). Specifically, the values associated with the close-fit indices (normed fit index, Tucker-Lewis Index, and root-mean-square error of approximation) are inaccurate. A reanalysis of the Mayer et al. subscale intercorrelation matrix provided accurate values of the close-fit indices, which resulted in different evaluations of the models tested by J. D. Mayer et al. Contrary to J. D. Mayer et al., the 1-factor model and the 2-factor model did not provide good fit. Although the 4-factor model was still considered good fitting, the non-constrained 4-factor model yielded a non-positive definite matrix, which was interpreted to be due to the fact that two of the branch-level factors (Perceiving and Facilitating) were collinear, suggesting that a model with 4 factors was implausible.
P. Rozin and A. B. Cohen's (2003) method of sending students out to observe each other in familiar circumstances undoubtedly exaggerated the apparent prevalence of confusion, concentration, and worry. The expressions they observed probably ranged from regulatory feedback and communicative signals to expressions of the "intellectual emotions" described by C. Darwin (1872/1965). Appraisal theories can easily accommodate these affective states; there is no need to postulate new "basic emotions" unless one adheres to a rigid categorical view of emotion. Finally, Rozin and Cohen have made a valuable contribution by reminding us of the importance of emotions related to interest.
In this article, the authors elaborate on 3 ideas advanced in P. Rozin and A. B. Cohen's (2003) innovative study of facial expression. Taking a cue from their discovery of new expressive behaviors (e.g., the narrowed eyebrows), the authors review recent studies showing that emotions are conveyed in more channels than usually studied, including posture, gaze patterns, voice, and touch. Building on their claim that confusion has a distinct display, the authors review evidence showing distinct displays for 3 self-conscious emotions (embarrassment, shame, and pride), 5 positive emotions (amusement, desire, happiness, love, interest), and sympathy and compassion. Finally, the authors offer a functional definition of emotion to integrate these findings on "new" displays and emotions.
An automatic vigilance hypothesis states that humans preferentially attend to negative stimuli, and this attention to negative valence disrupts the processing of other stimulus properties. Thus, negative words typically elicit slower color naming, word naming, and lexical decisions than neutral or positive words. Larsen, Mercer, and Balota analyzed the stimuli from 32 published studies, and they found that word valence was confounded with several lexical factors known to affect word recognition. Indeed, with these lexical factors covaried out, Larsen et al. found no evidence of automatic vigilance. The authors report a more sensitive analysis of 1011 words. Results revealed a small but reliable valence effect, such that negative words (e.g., "shark") elicit slower lexical decisions and naming than positive words (e.g., "beach"). Moreover, the relation between valence and recognition was categorical rather than linear; the extremity of a word's valence did not affect its recognition. This valence effect was not attributable to word length, frequency, orthographic neighborhood size, contextual diversity, first phoneme, or arousal. Thus, the present analysis provides the most powerful demonstration of automatic vigilance to date.
Reports an error in "Affect dynamics, affective forecasting, and aging" by Lisbeth Nielsen, Brian Knutson and Laura L. Carstensen (Emotion, 2008[Jun], Vol 8, 318-330). The first author of the article was listed as being affiliated with both the National Institute on Aging and the Department of Psychology, Stanford University. Dr. Nielsen would like to clarify that the research for this article was conducted while she was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. The copyright notice should also have been listed as "In the Public Domain." (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2008-06717-002.) Affective forecasting, experienced affect, and recalled affect were compared in younger and older adults during a task in which participants worked to win and avoid losing small monetary sums. Dynamic changes in affect were measured along valence and arousal dimensions, with probes during both anticipatory and consummatory task phases. Older and younger adults displayed distinct patterns of affect dynamics. Younger adults reported increased negative arousal during loss anticipation and positive arousal during gain anticipation. In contrast, older adults reported increased positive arousal during gain anticipation but showed no increase in negative arousal on trials involving loss anticipation. Additionally, younger adults reported large increases in valence after avoiding an anticipated loss, but older adults did not. Younger, but not older, adults exhibited forecasting errors on the arousal dimension, underestimating increases in arousal during anticipation of gains and losses and overestimating increases in arousal in response to gain outcomes. Overall, the findings are consistent with a growing literature suggesting that older people experience less negative emotion than their younger counterparts and further suggest that they may better predict dynamic changes in affect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Neural mechanisms of anger regulation as a function of genetic risk for violence" by Nelly Alia-Klein, Rita Z. Goldstein, Dardo Tomasi, Patricia A. Woicik, Scott J. Moeller, Benjamin Williams, Ian W. Craig, Frank Telang, Anat Biegon, Gene-Jack Wang, Joanna S. Fowler and Nora D. Volkow (Emotion, 2009[Jun], Vol 9, 385-396). This article contained an incorrect DOI for the supplemental materials. The correct DOI is as follows: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015904.supp. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2009-07991-010.) Genetic risk may predispose individuals to compromised anger regulation, potentially through modulation of brain responses to emotionally evocative stimuli. Emphatically expressed, the emotional word No can prohibit behavior through conditioning. In a recent functional magnetic resonance imaging study, the authors showed that healthy males attribute negative valence to No while showing a lateral orbitofrontal response that correlated with their self-reported anger control. Here, the authors examined the influence of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene (low vs. high transcription variants) on brain response to No and in relationship to trait anger reactivity and control. The orbitofrontal response did not differ as a function of the genotype. Instead, carriers of the low-MAOA genotype had reduced left middle frontal gyrus activation to No compared with the high variant. Furthermore, only for carriers of theup low-MAOA genotype, left amygdala and posterior thalamic activation to No increased with anger reactivity. Thus, vulnerability to aggression in carriers of the low-MAOA genotype is supported by decreased middle frontal response to No and the unique amygdala/thalamus association pattern in this group with anger reactivity but not anger control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Dejection at in-group defeat and schadenfreude toward second- and third-party out-groups" by Colin Wayne Leach and Russell Spears (Emotion, 2009[Oct], Vol 9, 659-665). In the article "Dejection at In-Group Defeat and Schadenfreude Toward Second- and Third-Party Out-Groups" by Colin Wayne Leach and Russell Spears (Emotion, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 5, pp. 659-665), the authors affiliations were incorrectly listed. Colin Wayne Leach was affiliated with his current institution, the Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, and Russell Spears was affiliated with his current institution, the School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Wales, U.K. at the time of writing. The research was conducted while Russell Spears was at the University of Amsterdam and Collin Wayne Leach was a visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam and supported by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2009-17981-007.) It has been argued that the emotional pain of being outshone by a second party leads to the malicious pleasure of schadenfreude when this second party subsequently suffers a misfortune. However, direct tests of this idea are rare, especially at the intergroup level. Thus, the authors presented participants with their country's defeat in international competition by a second party and then presented this second party as failing. Participants' dejection at their in-group's defeat led to schadenfreude toward the second party. Consistent with the notion that it affirms the self, schadenfreude toward the second party was associated with positive evaluation of the in-group. Dejection at defeat by a second party also led to schadenfreude toward a third party who had not defeated the in-group. Schadenfreude toward the third party was associated with negative evaluation of the third party rather than positive evaluation of the in-group. As such schadenfreude toward the third party was more malicious. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Brain dynamics in spider-phobic individuals exposed to phobia-relevant and other emotional stimuli" by Jaroslaw M. Michalowski, Christiane A. Melzig, Almut I. Weike, Jessica Stockburger, Harald T. Schupp and Alfons O. Hamm (Emotion, 2009[Jun], Vol 9, 306-315). This article contained an incorrect DOI for the supplemental materials. The correct DOI is as follows: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015550.supp. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2009-07991-002.) Dense sensor event-related brain potentials were measured in participants with spider phobia and nonfearful controls during viewing of phobia-relevant spider and standard emotional (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) pictures. Irrespective of the picture content, spider phobia participants responded with larger P1 amplitudes than controls, suggesting increased vigilance in this group. Furthermore, spider phobia participants showed a significantly enlarged early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) during the encoding of phobia-relevant pictures compared to nonfearful controls. No group differences were observed for standard emotional materials indicating that these effects were specific to phobia-relevant material. Within group comparisons of the spider phobia group, though, revealed comparable EPN and LPP evoked by spider pictures and emotional (unpleasant and pleasant) picture contents. These results demonstrate a temporal unfolding in perceptual processing from unspecific vigilance (P1) to preferential responding (EPN and LPP) to phobia-relevant materials in the spider phobia group. However, at the level of early stimulus processing, these effects of increased attention seem to be related to emotional relevance of the stimulus cues rather than reflecting a fear-specific response. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Structural resemblance to emotional expressions predicts evaluation of emotionally neutral faces" by Christopher P. Said, Nicu Sebe and Alexander Todorov (Emotion, 2009[Apr], Vol 9, 260-264). In this article a symbol was incorrectly omitted from Figure 1, part C. To see the complete article with the corrected figure, please go to http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0014681. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2009-04472-011.) People make trait inferences based on facial appearance despite little evidence that these inferences accurately reflect personality. The authors tested the hypothesis that these inferences are driven in part by structural resemblance to emotional expressions. The authors first had participants judge emotionally neutral faces on a set of trait dimensions. The authors then submitted the face images to a Bayesian network classifier trained to detect emotional expressions. By using a classifier, the authors can show that neutral faces perceived to possess various personality traits contain objective resemblance to emotional expression. In general, neutral faces that are perceived to have positive valence resemble happiness, faces that are perceived to have negative valence resemble disgust and fear, and faces that are perceived to be threatening resemble anger. These results support the idea that trait inferences are in part the result of an overgeneralization of emotion recognition systems. Under this hypothesis, emotion recognition systems, which typically extract accurate information about a person's emotional state, are engaged during the perception of neutral faces that bear subtle resemblance to emotional expressions. These emotions could then be misattributed as traits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Minding one's emotions: Mindfulness training alters the neural expression of sadness" by Norman A. S. Farb, Adam K. Anderson, Helen Mayberg, Jim Bean, Deborah McKeon and Zindel V. Segal (Emotion, 2010[Feb], Vol 10, 25-33). The DOI printed in the article was incorrect. The correct DOI is presented in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2010-01983-008.) Recovery from emotional challenge and increased tolerance of negative affect are both hallmarks of mental health. Mindfulness training (MT) has been shown to facilitate these outcomes, yet little is known about its mechanisms of action. The present study employed functional MRI (fMRI) to compare neural reactivity to sadness provocation in participants completing 8 weeks of MT and wait-listed controls. Sadness resulted in widespread recruitment of regions associated with self-referential processes along the cortical midline. Despite equivalent self-reported sadness, MT participants demonstrated a distinct neural response, with greater right-lateralized recruitment, including visceral and somatosensory areas associated with body sensation. The greater somatic recruitment observed in the MT group during evoked sadness was associated with decreased depression scores. Restoring balance between affective and sensory neural networks-supporting conceptual and body based representations of emotion-could be one path through which mindfulness reduces vulnerability to dysphoric reactivity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
Frequent and successful use of cognitive reappraisal, an emotion regulation strategy that involves rethinking the meaning of an emotional event in order to change one's emotional response, has been linked in everyday life to positive outcomes such as higher well-being. Whether we should expect this association to be maintained in a strong, temporally and spatially close emotional context is an unexplored question that might have important implications for our understanding of emotion regulation and its relations to psychological functioning. In this study of members of the U. S. Embassy Tokyo community in the months following the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan, self-reported use of cognitive reappraisal was not related to psychological functioning, but demonstrated success using cognitive reappraisal to decrease feelings of unpleasantness in response to disaster-related pictures on a performance-based task was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress. Moreover, emotional reactivity to these pictures was associated with greater symptomatology. These results suggest that situational intensity may be an important moderator of reappraisal and psychological functioning relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Affect bursts: Dynamic patterns of facial expression" by Eva G. Krumhuber and Klaus R. Scherer (Emotion, 2011, np). There were several errors in Table 1, and in Table 4 spaces were omitted from the rows between data for anger, fear, sadness, joy, and relief. All versions of this article have been corrected, and the corrections to Table 1 are provided in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-12872-001.) Affect bursts consist of spontaneous and short emotional expressions in which facial, vocal, and gestural components are highly synchronized. Although the vocal characteristics have been examined in several recent studies, the facial modality remains largely unexplored. This study investigated the facial correlates of affect bursts that expressed five different emotions: anger, fear, sadness, joy, and relief. Detailed analysis of 59 facial actions with the Facial Action Coding System revealed a reasonable degree of emotion differentiation for individual action units (AUs). However, less convergence was shown for specific AU combinations for a limited number of prototypes. Moreover, expression of facial actions peaked in a cumulative-sequential fashion with significant differences in their sequential appearance between emotions. When testing for the classification of facial expressions within a dimensional approach, facial actions differed significantly as a function of the valence and arousal level of the five emotions, thereby allowing further distinction between joy and relief. The findings cast doubt on the existence of fixed patterns of facial responses for each emotion, resulting in unique facial prototypes. Rather, the results suggest that each emotion can be portrayed by several different expressions that share multiple facial actions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Positive and negative affect produce opposing task-irrelevant stimulus preexposure effects" by Josef Lazar, Oren Kaplan, Terri Sternberg and R. E. Lubow (Emotion, Advanced Online Publication, Aug 22, 2011, np). In the article, there was an error in the following text on pp. 4-5. The correct text should read: The test phase, consisting of 96 trials, was divided into two blocks of 48 trials each. Between-trial sequencing and temporal conditions for stimulus presentations were the same as in the preexposure phase. Now, however, a $ sign appeared on the screen 40 times. The $ was preceded by the PE stimulus on 16 occasions (8 in each block), by the NPE stimulus 16 times (8 in each block), and by the other preexposed shapes (square, ellipse, diamond and rectangle) eight times. The pairings of the PE and the NPE shapes with $ were randomly interspersed within the 56 presentations of the other geometric forms (14 each for squares, ellipses, diamonds, and rectangles, 7 in each block). These changes do not affect the results or their interpretation. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-18174-001.) In three experiments, groups were exposed to either positive or negative affect video clips, after which they were presented with a series of task-irrelevant stimuli. In the subsequent test task, subjects were required to learn an association between the previously irrelevant stimulus and a consequence, and between a new stimulus and a consequence. Induced positive affect produced a latent inhibition effect (poorer evidence of learning with the previously irrelevant stimulus than with the novel stimulus). In opposition to this, induced negative affect resulted in better evidence of learning with a previously irrelevant stimulus than with a novel stimulus. In general, the opposing effects also were present in participants scoring high on self-report questionnaires of depression (Experiments 2 and 3). These unique findings were predicted and accounted for on the basis of two principles: (a) positive affect broadens the attentional field and negative affect contracts it; and (b) task-irrelevant stimuli are processed in two successive stages, the first encodes stimulus properties, and the second encodes stimulus relationships. The opposing influences of negative and positive mood on the processing of irrelevant stimuli have implications for the role of emotion in general theories of cognition, and possibly for resolving some of the inconsistent findings in research with schizophrenia patients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Can seeking happiness make people happy? Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness" by Iris B. Mauss, Maya Tamir, Craig L. Anderson and Nicole S. Savino (Emotion, 2011, np). There was an error in the title. The title of the article should read, "Can seeking happiness make people unhappy? Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness." All versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-08397-001.) Happiness is a key ingredient of well-being. It is thus reasonable to expect that valuing happiness will have beneficial outcomes. We argue that this may not always be the case. Instead, valuing happiness could be self-defeating, because the more people value happiness, the more likely they will feel disappointed. This should apply particularly in positive situations, in which people have every reason to be happy. Two studies support this hypothesis. In Study 1, female participants who valued happiness more (vs. less) reported lower happiness when under conditions of low, but not high, life stress. In Study 2, compared to a control group, female participants who were experimentally induced to value happiness reacted less positively to a happy, but not a sad, emotion induction. This effect was mediated by participants' disappointment at their own feelings. Paradoxically, therefore, valuing happiness may lead people to be less happy just when happiness is within reach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Bargh and Shalev (2012) hypothesized that people use warm showers and baths to compensate for a lack of social warmth. As support for this idea, they reported results from two studies that found an association between trait loneliness and bathing habits. Given the potential practical and theoretical importance of this association, we conducted nine additional studies on this topic. Using our own bathing or showering measures and the most current version of the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell, 1996), we found no evidence for an association between trait loneliness and a composite index of showering or bathing habits in a combined sample of 1,153 participants from four studies. Likewise, the aggregated effect size estimate was not statistically significant using the same measures as the original studies in a combined sample of 1,920 participants from five studies. A local meta-analysis including the original studies yielded an effect size estimate for the composite that included zero in the 95% confidence interval. The current results therefore cast doubt on the idea of a strong connection between trait loneliness and personal bathing habits related to warmth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Heartwarming Memories: Nostalgia Maintains Physiological Comfort" by Xinyue Zhou, Tim Wildschut, Constantine Sedikides, Xiaoxi Chen and Ad J. J. M. Vingerhoets (Emotion, Advanced Online Publication, Mar 5, 2012, np). In the article, the last sentence was incorrect. The corrected sentence is provided in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2012-05385-001.) Nostalgia, a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, is a predominantly positive and social emotion. Recent evidence suggests that nostalgia maintains psychological comfort. Here, we propose, and document in five methodologically diverse studies, a broader homeostatic function for nostalgia that also encompasses the maintenance of physiological comfort. We show that nostalgia-an emotion with a strong connotation of warmth-is triggered by coldness. Participants reported stronger nostalgia on colder (vs. warmer) days and in a cold (vs. neutral or warm) room. Nostalgia, in turn, modulates the interoceptive feeling of temperature. Higher levels of music-evoked nostalgia predicted increased physical warmth, and participants who recalled a nostalgic (vs. ordinary autobiographical) event perceived ambient temperature as higher. Finally, and consistent with the close central nervous system integration of temperature and pain sensations, participants who recalled a nostalgic (vs. ordinary autobiographical) event evinced greater tolerance to noxious cold. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Cross-cultural generality and specificity in self-regulation: Avoidance personal goals and multiple aspects of well-being in the United States and Japan" by Andrew J. Elliot, Constantine Sedikides, Kou Murayama, Ayumi Tanaka, Todd M. Thrash and Rachel R. Mapes (Emotion, 2012[Oct], Vol 12, 1031-1040). The authors intended, but neglected to include the following, at the end of the Study 2 Measures paragraph: The data for the personal goals and intrapersonal well-being variables in the U.S. sample were also used in the context of other, separate studies (Elliot, Gable, & Mapes, 2006, Study 2; Elliot, Thrash, & Murayama, 2011, Study 1). A small portion of these data, specifically the relation between avoidance personal goals and intrapersonal well-being, was also reported in Elliot et al., 2011, Study 1 (albeit in composite form and for non-Asians and Asians combined). (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2012-10011-001.) The authors examined avoidance personal goals as concurrent (Study 1) and longitudinal (Study 2) predictors of multiple aspects of well-being in the United States and Japan. In both studies, participants adopted more avoidance personal goals in Japan relative to the United States. Both studies also demonstrated that avoidance personal goals were significant negative predictors of the most relevant aspects of well-being in each culture. Specifically, avoidance personal goals were negative predictors of intrapersonal and eudaimonic well-being in the United States and were negative predictors of interpersonal and eudaimonic well-being in Japan. The findings clarify and extend puzzling findings from prior empirical work in this area, and raise provocative possibilities about the nature of avoidance goal pursuit. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Shalev and Bargh (2014) replied to our work and summarized results from 3 new studies concerning the associations between trait loneliness and showering/bathing habits. We clarify a few issues and provide a foundation for future work by conducting a meta-analysis of the relevant studies. The inclusion of new data does little to change our basic conclusions. There are no indications of strong connections between trait loneliness and showering/bathing habits. Additional studies are needed to test moderators of these associations, and to evaluate possible cross-cultural differences in the connection between loneliness and physical warmth extraction from baths and showers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
The fear facial expression is a distress cue that is associated with the provision of help and prosocial behavior. Prior psychiatric studies have found deficits in the recognition of this expression by individuals with antisocial tendencies. However, no prior study has shown accuracy for recognition of fear to predict actual prosocial or antisocial behavior in an experimental setting. In 3 studies, the authors tested the prediction that individuals who recognize fear more accurately will behave more prosocially. In Study 1, participants who identified fear more accurately also donated more money and time to a victim in a classic altruism paradigm. In Studies 2 and 3, participants' ability to identify the fear expression predicted prosocial behavior in a novel task designed to control for confounding variables. In Study 3, accuracy for recognizing fear proved a better predictor of prosocial behavior than gender, mood, or scores on an empathy scale.
This study examined associations between the tendency to ruminate and 2 polymorphisms: the Val66Met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene and 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4). Participants were a homogeneous group of healthy, unmedicated, never depressed individuals with few current symptoms of depression (N = 71). Results indicated that met heterozygotes of the BDNF allele were significantly more likely to ruminate than individuals homozygous for the val BDNF allele. There was no association between rumination and the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. Furthermore, the interaction between the 5-HTTLPR and BDNF polymorphisms did not predict rumination. Results suggest that variation in the BDNF gene may contribute to the tendency to ruminate. Because this association exists in healthy adults, it may represent a susceptibility factor for affective disorders.
The present study investigated perceived acceptability and suppression of negative emotion in participants with anxiety and mood disorders. Sixty participants with these disorders and 30 control participants watched an emotion-provoking film and completed self-report measures of their experience and regulation of emotions. The film elicited similar increases in negative emotion for clinical and nonclinical participants; however, clinical participants judged their resulting emotions as less acceptable and suppressed their emotions to a greater extent. The higher level of suppression in the clinical group was attributable to females in the clinical group suppressing their emotions more than females in the nonclinical group. For all participants, high levels of suppression were associated with increased negative emotion during the film and during a postfilm recovery period. Further analyses showed that appraising emotions as unacceptable mediated the relationship between negative emotion intensity and use of suppression in the clinical group. This study extends the literature on emotion regulation to a clinical sample and suggests that judging emotions as unacceptable and suppressing emotions may be important aspects of the phenomenology of emotional disorders.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the human brain was used to compare changes in amygdala activity associated with viewing facial expressions of fear and anger. Pictures of human faces bearing expressions of fear or anger, as well as faces with neutral expressions, were presented to 8 healthy participants. The blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) fMRI signal within the dorsal amygdala was significantly greater to Fear versus Anger, in a direct contrast. Significant BOLD signal changes in the ventral amygdala were observed in contrasts of Fear versus Neutral expressions and, in a more spatially circumscribed region, to Anger versus Neutral expressions. Thus, activity in the amygdala is greater to fearful facial expressions when contrasted with either neutral or angry faces. Furthermore, directly contrasting fear with angry faces highlighted involvement of the dorsal amygdaloid region.
The AAB pattern consists of two similar events followed by a third dissimilar event. The prevalence of this pattern in the aesthetic domain may be explained as violation of expectation: A minimum of two iterations is required to establish a repetitive pattern; once established, it is most efficient to promptly violate the expected continuance of the pattern to produce the maximal aesthetic effect. We demonstrate the prevalence of this pattern (in comparison to AB or AAAB) in a representative sample of a variety of musical genres and in a representative sample of repetitive genre of jokes. We also provide experimental evidence that the AAB pattern in jokes is maximally effective in producing a humor response in participants.
Emotion regulation abilities, measured on a test of emotional intelligence, were related to several indicators of the quality of individuals' social interactions with peers. In a sample of 76 college students, emotion regulation abilities were associated with both self-reports and peer nominations of interpersonal sensitivity and prosocial tendencies, the proportion of positive vs. negative peer nominations, and reciprocal friendship nominations. These relationships remained statistically significant after controlling for the Big Five personality traits as well as verbal and fluid intelligence.
We examine the social perception of emotional intelligence (EI) through the use of observer ratings. Individuals frequently judge others' emotional abilities in real-world settings, yet we know little about the properties of such ratings. This article examines the social perception of EI and expands the evidence to evaluate its reliability and cross-judge agreement, as well as its convergent, divergent, and predictive validity. Three studies use real-world colleagues as observers and data from 2,521 participants. Results indicate significant consensus across observers about targets' EI, moderate but significant self-observer agreement, and modest but relatively consistent discriminant validity across the components of EI. Observer ratings significantly predicted interdependent task performance, even after controlling for numerous factors. Notably, predictive validity was greater for observer-rated than for self-rated or ability-tested EI. We discuss the minimal associations of observer ratings with ability-tested EI, study limitations, future directions, and practical implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Memory for emotional stimuli is superior to memory for neutral stimuli. This study investigated whether this memory advantage is present in implicit memory. Memory was tested with a test of explicit memory (associate cued recall) and a test of conceptual implicit memory (free association) identical in all respects apart from the retrieval instructions. After studying emotional and neutral paired associates, participants saw the first member of the pair, the cue; in the test of explicit memory participants were instructed to recall the associate; in the test of implicit memory participants were instructed to generate the first word coming to mind associated to the word. Depth of study processing dissociated performance in the tests, confirming that the free-association test was not contaminated by an intentional retrieval strategy. Emotional pairs were better recalled than neutral pairs in the test of explicit memory but not in the equivalent test of implicit memory. The absence of an emotion effect in implicit memory implies that emotional material does not have a privileged global mnemonic status; intentional retrieval is necessary for observing the emotion-related memory advantage.
The authors compared the accuracy of emotion decoding for nonlinguistic affect vocalizations, speech-embedded vocal prosody, and facial cues representing 9 different emotions. Participants (N = 121) decoded 80 stimuli from 1 of the 3 channels. Accuracy scores for nonlinguistic affect vocalizations and facial expressions were generally equivalent, and both were higher than scores for speech-embedded prosody. In particular, affect vocalizations showed superior decoding over the speech stimuli for anger, contempt, disgust, fear, joy, and sadness. Further, specific emotions that were decoded relatively poorly through speech-embedded prosody were more accurately identified through affect vocalizations, suggesting that emotions that are difficult to communicate in running speech can still be expressed vocally through other means. Affect vocalizations also showed superior decoding over faces for anger, contempt, disgust, fear, sadness, and surprise. Facial expressions showed superior decoding scores over both types of vocal stimuli for joy, pride, embarrassment, and "neutral" portrayals. Results are discussed in terms of the social functions served by various forms of nonverbal emotion cues and the communicative advantages of expressing emotions through particular channels.
The emotional value of placing in a given percentile of a competition (e.g., placing in the "top 10%") depends on how many competitors are involved. Five studies reveal that winning among larger groups is associated with more positive emotional reactions than winning among smaller groups, even when the objective chances for success are held constant. Participants thought that a runner would feel happier after placing in the top 10% in a race with many (vs. few) competitors (Experiment 1); participants who imagined placing in the top 10% of a trivia quiz predicted that they would feel happier after succeeding among many (vs. few) respondents (Experiment 2); and participants who were given randomly assigned false feedback that they placed in the top 10% of a real creativity challenge actually felt happier when the pool was described as containing many (vs. few) contestants (Experiment 3). This effect appears to be driven by participants' intuitions about the statistical law of large numbers: when people think about success among large pools, they infer that the outcome is more diagnostic of "true" abilities-that the performance must not be a fluke-compared with identical success among small pools, which provides an affective boost (Experiments 4-5). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Three studies are reported showing that emotional responses to stress can be modified by systematic prior practice in adopting particular processing modes. Participants were induced to think about positive and negative scenarios in a mode either characteristic of or inconsistent with the abstract-evaluative mind-set observed in depressive rumination, via explicit instructions (Experiments 1 and 2) and via implicit induction of interpretative biases (Experiment 3), before being exposed to a failure experience. In all three studies, participants trained into the mode antithetical to depressive rumination demonstrated less emotional reactivity following failure than participants trained into the mode consistent with depressive rumination. These findings provide evidence consistent with the hypothesis that processing mode modifies emotional reactivity and support the processing-mode theory of rumination.
Studies of anxiety suggest that threat stimuli can be identified preattentively, but this conclusion is questionable because of possible low-level perceptual confounds. Two experiments used visual search tasks in which abstract shapes were conditioned to carry neutral or negative valence. Experiment 1 found generally faster responses to threat-associated abstract stimuli but no evidence that they were detected preattentively, irrespective of trait anxiety level. A similar pattern was found in Experiment 2, in which individuals high in snake or spider fear showed no evidence of preattentive detection of abstract stimuli associated with their feared object. In contrast, implicit behavioral measures showed significant effects of conditioning, demonstrating that targets associated with threat were negatively evaluated in these experiments.
One account for the negative effects of rumination on social problem solving (SPS) is the symptom-focus hypothesis, which proposes that focus on symptoms amplifies the vicious cycle between depressed mood and negative cognition. The authors tested a contrasting account, the reduced concreteness hypothesis, which postulates that the abstract thinking typical of rumination impairs SPS. In 40 depressed patients and 40 never-depressed controls, SPS was assessed before and after versions of symptom-focused rumination known to differentially induce abstract versus concrete self-focus (E. Watkins & J. D. Teasdale, 2001). As predicted by reduced concreteness theory, relative to abstract self-focus, concrete self-focus improved SPS in depressed patients, suggesting that the particular mode of symptom-focus, rather than symptom-focus per se, determines the effects of rumination on problem solving.
Previous research has shown a relationship between levels of self-reported childhood abuse and overgeneral memory style. This relationship was further clarified in patients with an eating disorder (ED). Patients and healthy controls completed a task in which they had to generate specific autobiographical memories to emotional cue words. The results showed that first, the ED group, relative to the controls, produced more first memories that were "overgeneral" and fewer first memories that were specific. Second, in the ED group, the level of self-reported parental abuse was positively correlated with the tendency to produce overgeneral memories to negative cues. This effect remained significant even after levels of depressed mood were controlled for.
Positive emotions promote adjustment to aversive life events. However, evolutionary theory and empirical research on trauma disclosure suggest that in the context of stigmatized events, expressing positive emotions might incur social costs. To test this thesis, the authors coded genuine (Duchenne) smiling and laughter and also non-Duchenne smiling from videotapes of late-adolescent and young adult women, approximately half with documented histories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), as they described the most distressing event of their lives. Consistent with previous studies, genuine positive emotional expression was generally associated with better social adjustment two years later. However, as anticipated, CSA survivors who expressed positive emotion in the context of describing a past CSA experience had poorer long-term social adjustment, whereas CSA survivors who expressed positive emotion while describing a nonabuse experience had improved social adjustment. These findings suggest that the benefits of positive emotional expression may often be context specific.
Two experiments using event-related potentials (ERPs) examined the extent to which early traumatic experiences affect children's ability to regulate voluntary and involuntary attention to threat. The authors presented physically abused and nonabused comparison children with conflicting auditory and visual emotion cues, posed by children's mothers or a stranger, to examine the effect of emotion, modality, and poser familiarity on attention regulation. Relative to controls, abused children overattended to task-relevant visual and auditory anger cues. They also attended more to task-irrelevant auditory anger cues. Furthermore, the degree of attention allocated to threat statistically mediated the relationship between physical abuse and child-reported anxiety. These findings indicate that extreme emotional experiences may promote vulnerability for anxiety by influencing the development of attention regulation abilities.
This study examined the relation between emotion competence and academic competence and three potential mediators of this relation. In kindergarten, 193 children from elementary schools serving urban, minority, and low income students participated in an emotion competence assessment, and 142 of these children completed a follow-up assessment in first grade. The relation between teacher ratings of emotion regulation and academic competence was primarily indirect through the effect of emotion regulation on teacher ratings of attention. Peer acceptance and teacher closeness did not mediate the relations between emotion competence and academic competence. Results highlight the potential benefits of early emotion-centered prevention programs and the need to identify children with attention problems as early as possible to prevent academic difficulties.
Adolescents face many academic and emotional challenges in middle school, but notable differences are evident in how well they adapt. What predicts adolescents' academic and emotional outcomes during this period? One important factor might be adolescents' implicit theories about whether intelligence and emotions can change. The current study examines how these theories affect academic and emotional outcomes. One hundred fifteen students completed surveys throughout middle school, and their grades and course selections were obtained from school records. Students who believed that intelligence could be developed earned higher grades and were more likely to move to advanced math courses over time. Students who believed that emotions could be controlled reported fewer depressive symptoms and, if they began middle school with lower well-being, were more likely to feel better over time. These findings illustrate the power of adolescents' implicit theories, suggesting exciting new pathways for intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Students who exaggerate their current grade point averages (GPAs) report positive emotional and motivational orientations toward academics (Gramzow & Willard, 2006; Willard & Gramzow, 2007). It is conceivable, however, that these self-reports mask underlying anxieties. The current study examined cardiovascular reactivity during an academic interview in order to determine whether exaggerators respond with a pattern suggestive of anxiety or, alternatively, equanimity. Sixty-two undergraduates were interviewed about their academic performance. Participants evidenced increased sympathetic activation (indexed with preejection period) during the interview, suggesting active task engagement. Academic exaggeration predicted parasympathetic coactivation (increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia). Observer ratings indicated that academic exaggeration was coordinated with a composed demeanor during the interview. Together, these patterns suggest that academic exaggeration is associated with emotional equanimity, rather than anxiety. The capacity for adaptive emotion regulation--to keep a cool head when focusing on academic performance--offers one explanation for why exaggerators also tend to improve academically. These findings have implications for the broader literature on self-evaluation, emotion, and cardiovascular reactivity.
Six experiments found that manipulations that increase thought speed also yield positive affect. These experiments varied in both the methods used for accelerating thought (i.e., instructions to brainstorm freely, exposure to multiple ideas, encouragement to plagiarize others' ideas, performance of easy cognitive tasks, narration of a silent video in fast-forward, and experimentally controlled reading speed) and the contents of the thoughts that were induced (from thoughts about money-making schemes to thoughts of five-letter words). The results suggested that effects of thought speed on mood are partially rooted in the subjective experience of thought speed. The results also suggested that these effects can be attributed to the joy-enhancing effects of fast thinking (rather than only to the joy-killing effects of slow thinking). This work is inspired by observations of a link between "racing thoughts" and euphoria in cases of clinical mania, and potential implications of that observed link are discussed.
The effects of emotional processing on stress response trajectories may depend on the nature of processing, as evaluative rumination about emotions can prolong distress. In contrast, observing negative emotions in an accepting manner may promote efficient recovery from stressful situations. The present study examined the effect of acceptance-oriented versus evaluative emotional processing on cardiovascular habituation and recovery. Across two experimental sessions, 81 participants were randomly assigned to write about an ongoing stressful experience while either (1) evaluating the appropriateness of their emotional response (EVAL), (2) attending to their emotions in an accepting way (ACC), or (3) describing the objective details of the experience (CTL). Heart rate was assessed continuously throughout baseline, writing, and recovery. Results suggest that writing about emotions in an evaluative way leads to less efficient heart rate habituation and recovery than processing emotions in an accepting manner. These findings highlight a potential mechanism of mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions' effects on health outcomes and further suggest that habitually evaluating the appropriateness of one's emotional responses rather than accepting them as they unfold may have consequences for cardiovascular health.
Previous research on mindfulness has suggested that individuals high in trait mindfulness show heightened sensitivity to visceral and internally generated stimuli. However, when mindful individuals are exposed to external stimuli-such as pictures or faces-their emotional responses are typically attenuated. In the current study, we tested how trait mindfulness relates to reactivity in response to a different type of external stimulus, namely, performance feedback. Using electroencephalography, we recorded participants' neuroaffective reactions to rewarding, aversive, and neutral feedback, as indexed by the feedback-related negativity (FRN). The FRN is a brain response that peaks approximately 250 ms after feedback presentation, and it is thought to differentiate feedback indicating favorable versus unfavorable outcomes. Our findings suggest trait mindfulness predicts less differentiation of rewarding from neutral feedback, but does not predict brain differentiation of aversive from neutral feedback. This was the case particularly for individuals who scored highly on the "acceptance" facet of mindfulness, a facet that assesses the nonjudgmental acceptance of thoughts and emotions. We discuss the implications of these findings for current theory on mindfulness and emotion regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Rapid evaluation of ecologically relevant stimuli may lead to their preferential access to awareness. Continuous flash suppression allows assessment of affective processing under conditions in which stimuli have been rendered invisible due to the strongly suppressive nature of dynamic noise relative to static images. The authors investigated whether fearful expressions emerge from suppression into awareness more quickly than images of neutral or happy expressions. Fearful faces were consistently detected faster than neutral or happy faces. Responses to inverted faces were slower than those to upright faces but showed the same effect of emotional expression, suggesting that some key feature or features in the inverted faces remained salient. When using stimuli solely representing the eyes, a similar bias for detecting fear emerged, implicating the importance of information from the eyes in the preconscious processing of fear expressions.
Although there exists a consensus that depression is characterized by preferential processing of negative information, empirical findings to support the association between depression and rumination on the one hand and selective attention for negative stimuli on the other hand have been elusive. We argue that one of the reasons for the inconsistent findings may be the use of aggregate measures of response times and accuracies to measure attentional bias. Diffusion model analysis allows to partial out the information processing component from other components that comprise the decision-making process. In this study, we applied a diffusion model to an emotional flanker task. Results revealed that when focusing on a negative target, both rumination and depression were associated with facilitated processing due to negative distracters, whereas only rumination was associated with less interference by positive distracters. After controlling for depression scores, rumination still predicted attentional bias for negative information, but depression scores were no longer predictive after controlling for rumination. Consistent with elusive findings in the literature, we did not find this pattern of results when using accuracy scores or mean response times. Our results suggest that rumination accounts for the attentional bias for negative information found in depression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Countless studies have reported that adults detect a variety of threatening stimuli more quickly than positive or neutral stimuli. Despite speculation about what factors drive this bias in detection, very few studies have examined the exact search strategies adults use to detect threatening stimuli in visual search. The current research uses an eye-tracker in a classic visual search paradigm in attempt to elucidate the factors that lead to rapid threat detection. Our results replicate previous work, demonstrating that adults detect threatening targets (snakes and spiders) more quickly and accurately than nonthreatening targets (flowers and mushrooms). Results from the eye-tracker extend these findings, suggesting that the bias for threat in detection tasks is driven by both an advantage in perception, or bottom up processing (faster fixations to threats vs. nonthreats), and an advantage in behavioral responding, or top down processing (faster behavioral responding to threats once a target is first fixated). Together, the results present a more complete picture of the mechanisms that drive rapid threat detection, suggesting that multiple factors can lead to an advantage for threat in visual search. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).