Alice M. Isen's research while affiliated with Cornell University and other places

Publications (80)

Article
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Increasing evidence that positive affect enhances associative processing has lent weight to the idea that positive affect increases false memory for information that is thematically interrelated. Using the Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm, we examined whether mild positive affect facilitates monitoring processes in modulating false memory for asso...
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Among patients with chronic cardiopulmonary disease, increasing healthy behaviors improves outcomes, but such behavior changes are difficult for patients to make and sustain over time. This study aims to demonstrate how positive affect and self-affirmation improve health behaviors compared with a patient education control group. The patient educati...
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The present research proposes that positive affect mitigates choice overload. Results from four studies show that whereas people in neutral affect feel less satisfied when choosing from a large relative to a small assortment, people in positive affect do not experience a decline in satisfaction and may even feel more satisfied when choosing from a...
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Reports an error in "Translating Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research to Clinical Application: The EVOLVE Mixed Methods Approach" by Janey C. Peterson, Susan Czajkowski, Mary E. Charlson, Alissa R. Link, Martin T. Wells, Alice M. Isen, Carol A. Mancuso, John P. Allegrante, Carla Boutin-Foster, Gbenga Ogedegbe and Jared B. Jobe ( Journal of...
Article
Objective: To describe a mixed-methods approach to develop and test a basic behavioral science-informed intervention to motivate behavior change in 3 high-risk clinical populations. Our theoretically derived intervention comprised a combination of positive affect and self-affirmation (PA/SA), which we applied to 3 clinical chronic disease populati...
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This study examined the effects of positive affect on working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Given that WM involves both storage and controlled processing and that STM primarily involves storage processing, we hypothesised that if positive affect facilitates controlled processing, it should improve WM more than STM. The results demonstrat...
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The impact of induced mild positive feelings on working memory and complex decision making among older adults (aged 63-85) was examined. Participants completed a computer administered card task in which participants could win money if they chose from "gain" decks and lose money if they chose from "loss" decks. Individuals in the positive-feeling co...
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Patients with asthma engage in less physical activity than peers without asthma. Protocols are needed to prudently increase physical activity in asthma patients. We evaluated whether an educational intervention enhanced with positive-affect induction and self-affirmation was more effective than the educational protocol alone in increasing physical...
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Background Within 1 year after percutaneous coronary intervention, more than 20% of patients experience new adverse events. Physical activity confers a 25% reduction in mortality; however, physical activity is widely underused. Thus, there is a need for more powerful behavioral interventions to promote physical activity. Our objective was to motiva...
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Poor adherence explains poor blood pressure (BP) control; however African Americans suffer worse hypertension-related outcomes. This randomized controlled trial evaluated whether a patient education intervention enhanced with positive-affect induction and self-affirmation (PA) was more effective than patient education (PE) alone in improving medica...
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Understanding what makes consumers more likely to explore new products is of crucial importance to marketers. Prior research on consumer innovativeness has focused on identifying stable individual characteristics that determine the propensity of consumers to try new offerings. The present research takes a different perspective by investigating the...
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This chapter summarizes findings showing that mild positive affect facilitates thinking, problem solving, and social interaction through increased cognitive flexibility and explores a possible role for neuropsychology in understanding these effects. Several lines of research show that mild happy feelings, induced in everyday ways that people often...
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The significant potential of energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption has been recognized over the past several years; yet adoption of energy efficient practices has been far from optimum. We examine whether adoption of energy efficiency initiatives can be enhanced through six different managerial interventions that leverage specific behavior...
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Six studies examine the influence of positive affect on self-control in intertemporal choice (consumers' willingness to wait for desired rewards) and the cognitive processes underlying this effect. Two studies measure participants' levels of thinking in two different ways, showing that positive affect can promote forward-looking, high-level thinkin...
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Social scientists often rely on economic experiments such as ultimatum and dictator games to understand human cooperation. Systematic deviations from economic predictions have inspired broader conceptions of self-interest that incorporate concerns for fairness. Yet no framework can describe all of the major results. We take a different approach by...
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An exploratory analysis of verbal protocols from a think-aloud newsvendor experiment provided deeper insights into the decision-making process, enabling us to formulate a number of questions that are worth answering in future research. In a think-aloud experiment, subjects verbalize their cognitions while performing a task; responses are then recor...
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Results from two studies show that positive affect reduces the negative consequences of choice overload on the consumer choice experience and on satisfaction with the chosen option. In study 1, these effects were observed in an on-line consumer choice setting. Study 2 was conducted in the presence of the actual products and extended these results t...
Article
Credit cards are one of the most common forms of credit offered to consumers and one in which information is highly standardized through mandated disclosures. Three experiments examine the effects of affect inductions (mild positive or anxious affect) on the use of credit card disclosure information by college undergraduates. Overall, these consume...
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Evidence shows that real-effort investments can affect bilateral bargaining outcomes. This paper investigates whether similar investments can inhibit equilibrium convergence of experimental markets. In one treatment, sellers’ relative effort affects the allocation of production costs, but a random productivity shock ensures that the allocation is n...
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Secondary prevention of adverse outcomes in patients with cardiopulmonary disease requires that patients become actively engaged in self-management efforts such as participation in physical activity or medication adherence. However, despite assiduous efforts to find strategies that help cardiovascular patients to adopt and maintain such behaviors,...
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This article extends the discussion of congruity or the preference by consumers for alternatives similar to themselves 1) by examining the effect in a retail context and, 2) by considering the moderating role of self-monitoring, or the tendency to regulate one's mood in line with the social context, on congruity. Two experiments find that when low...
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One of us had agreed to participate in the “Mothers' March” (on Birth Defects) of the March of Dimes. The collecting packet arrived without an identification badge, however. Much of the March of Dimes literature bears the picture of a handicapped child, but some does not. The question facing us as we set out to collect for the “Mothers' March” was...
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Two experiments demonstrated that positive affect fosters intrinsic motivation, as reflected by choice of activity in a free-choice situation and by rated amount of enjoyment of a novel and challenging task, but also promotes responsible work behavior in a situation where the work needs to be done. Where there was work that needed to be done, peopl...
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This article presents an introduction to and analysis of an emerging area of research, namely decision neuroscience, whose goal is to integrate research in neuroscience and behavioral decision making. The article includes an exposition of (1) how the exponential accumulation of knowledge in neuroscience can potentially enrich research on decision m...
Chapter
IntroductionBackground Positive Affect Facilitates Pro-social BehaviorPositive Affect Influences CognitionPositive Affect and MotivationConclusion References
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Results of two studies indicated that tasting a familiar product designed to be refreshing (iced tea), without knowledge of the brand, induced positive affect, as did the gift-of-candy (not consumed) induction, used in many previous studies. As compared to controls, these participants showed more positive affect as reflected by 5 implicit measures...
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This paper argues for the integration of affect, cognition, and motivation, and suggests that this integration can be especially helpful in understanding organizational behavior, a point developed also, but in a slightly different way, by Ashkanasy in his recent paper, “Emotions in organizations: A multi-level perspective.” In addition, this paper...
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The influence of positive affect on expectancy motivation was investigated in 2 studies. The results of Study 1 indicated that positive affect improved people's performance and affected their perceptions of expectancy and valence. In Study 1, in which outcomes depended on chance, positive affect did not influence people's perceptions of instrumenta...
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This article reviews evidence indicating that, in most circumstances, positive affect enhances problem solving and decision making, leading to cognitive processing that is not only flexible, innovative, and creative, but also thorough and efficient. These results have implications regarding consumers’ potential reactions to affect generated by ads,...
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Summary Qualitative research is becoming more prominent in medicine. It is still not clear how it can address either clinical or biopsychosocial research questions. Methodologic standards and guidelines for qualitative research in medicine and health care remain too sketchy to help one evaluate a qualitative study critically. Alternatives for addre...
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The standard economic model of decision making assumes a decision maker makes her choices to maximize her utility or happiness. Her current emotional state is not explicitly considered. Yet there is a large psychological literature that shows that current emotional state, in particular positive a#ect, has a signi cant e#ect on decision making. This...
Article
The standard economic model of decision making assumes a decision maker makes her choices to maximize her utility or happiness. Her current emotional state is not explicitly considered. Yet there is a large psychological literature that shows that current emotional state, in particular positive a#ect, has a signi cant e#ect on decision making. This...
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Positive affect systematically influences performance on many cognitive tasks. A new neuropsychological theory is proposed that accounts for many of these effects by assuming that positive affect is associated with increased brain dopamine levels. The theory predicts or accounts for influences of positive affect on olfaction, the consolidation of l...
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As a consequence of the rapid growth of temporary agency employment in Germany, the debate on the remuneration of temporary agency workers has intensified recently. The study finds that the earnings gap of temporary help workers in Germany is indeed large and increased during the past decade. Decomposition reveals that the widening gap mainly is dr...
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This paper explores how consideration of the medical context can add newelements to marketing thought. Differences between the medical context andother consumer contexts are reviewed. The effects that the medical contexthas on the way traditional constructs such as involvement, affect andstress, uncertainty and satisfaction affect choice are discus...
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Two experiments examined the influence of positive affect on probability estimation and choice. Participants in whom positive affect had been induced, as well as no-manipulation controls, were asked to make both numerical evaluations of verbal probabilities in three-outcome gambles and actual betting decisions about similar gambles. Results from Ex...
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This study examined how social (group size: two, three, or four persons), appearance (similar or dissimilar dress), and affective (positive or neutral mood) factors can influence social categorization and, consequently, intergroup bias. As expected, positive affect increased the extent to which subjects formed inclusive group representations, antic...
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A study investigated whether creative problem solving and reported sources of satisfaction from the practice of medicine are influenced by the induction of positive affect among physicians. Physicians randomly assigned to the positive affect group received a small package of candy. The control group received no treatment. The affect group scored be...
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In three brand-choice experiments executed on personal computers, a significant interaction was found regarding the influence of positive affect, induced by the gift of a small bag of candy or sugarless gum, on variety-seeking behavior. In three food categories (crackers, soup, and snack foods), a positive-affect manipulation increased variety-seek...
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This study investigated the influence of positive affect on social categorization. Subjects in whom positive affect had been induced, and control subjects, were asked to indicate the degree to which good and weak examples of positive and negative person categories fit those categories. Positive-affect subjects rated weak exemplars of positive, but...
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This study investigated the influence of positive affect, induced by report of success on an anagram task, on medical decision making among third-year medical students. The subjects were asked to decide which one of six hypothetical patients, each of whom had a solitary pulmonary nodule, was most likely to have lung cancer. They were asked to verba...
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The present study investigated the influence of temporary affective states on perceptions of task characteristics and task satisfaction. Affective states, or moods, were defined as emotion-like states which lack an obvious referent and tend not to disrupt ongoing activity. Subjects evaluated teaching assistant candidates under two levels of task de...
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A modification of the procedure originally used by Davidson, Suppes, and Siegel (1956) to measure subjective utility was used to study the influence of positive affect on individuals' perceived value (utility) functions. Results indicated, as expected, that persons in whom positive affect had been induced showed a more negative subjective utility f...
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This study examines the impact of the Indian cricket team's performance in one day international cricket matches on returns on the Indian stock market. The main conclusion of the study is that there exists an asymmetric relationship between the performance of the Indian cricket team and stock returns on the Indian stock market. While a win by the I...
Chapter
This chapter examines some of the literature demonstrating an impact of affect on social behavior. It will consider the influence of affect on cognition in an attempt to further understand on the way cognitive processes may mediate the effect of feelings on social behavior. The chapter describes the recent works suggesting an influence of positive...
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Four experiments indicated that positive affect, induced by means of seeing a few minutes of a comedy film or by means of receiving a small bag of candy, improved performance on two tasks that are generally regarded as requiring creative ingenuity: Duncker's (1945) candle task and M. T. Mednick, S. A. Mednick, and E. V. Mednick's (1964) Remote Asso...
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This study explores the ways in which information about other individual's action affects one's own behavior in a dictator game. The experimental design discriminates behaviorally between three possible effects of recipient's within-game reputation on the dictator's decision: Reputation causing indirect reciprocity, social influence, and identifica...
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The present study investigated the influence of positive affect and visual access on the process and outcome of negotiation in an integrative bargaining task. Visual access was crossed with positive affect in a 2 × 2 design. The results supported the hypotheses that positive affect would reduce the use of contentious tactics and would increase join...
Article
A pilot study and two experiments investigated the influence of positive affect, induced in three differing ways, on the uniqueness of word associations. Persons in the positive-affect conditions gave more unusual first-associates to neutral words, according to the Palermo & Jenkins (1964) norms, than did subjects in the control conditions. In Stud...
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Four studies with 256 undergraduates showed that positive affect, induced in any of 3 ways, influenced categorization of either of 2 types of stimuli—words or colors. As reflected by performance on 2 types of tasks (rating and sorting), Ss in whom positive affect had been induced tended to create and use categories more inclusively than did Ss in a...
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This research examined the effects of visual access and mood on communication in negotiation. Negotiators who could see one another used hostile statements more frequently and were less likely to reach integrative agreements than negotiators unable to see one another. This effect disappeared for negotiators in a positive mood.
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This study examines some specific effects of the Positive and Negative Velten Mood Induction Procedures and of two motion pictures selected for their affect inducing qualities. Results revealed that, despite apparently strong effects on affective state when measured immediately after affect induction, the Velten Statements and one of the films had...
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An experiment investigated the effect of procedures designed to induce mood (and previously demonstrated to influence social interaction such as helping) on subsequent evaluation of positive, negative, and neutral slides. Results showed main effects of both mood and slide type. This indicates that mild mood-inducing events that are sufficient to af...
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The proposition that positive feelings increase helping because they increase the perception of personal power implies that if the person prefers not to help, positive feelings would decrease helping. This was tested in an experiment that varied feelings and pleasantness of the helping task. False meter feedback was used to manipulate feelings, and...
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Two studies investigated the effect of good mood on cognitive processes. In the first study, conducted in a shopping mall, a positive feeling state was induced by giving subjects a free gift, and good mood, thus induced, was found to improve subjects' evaluations of the performance and service records of products they owned. In the second study, in...
Article
Two field studies investigated the time course of the effect of feeling good on helping. 42 Ss were given small packets ("free samples") of stationery by a confederate who went from door to door. Then, at different intervals, each S received a "wrong number" telephone call during which he/she had the opportunity to help. Results show that Ss who ha...
Article
In an attempt to clarify and extend the findings of an earlier study (Isen and Levin, 1972), two experiments investigated the effects of a person's positive affective state on his or her subsequent helpfulness to others. The studies were conducted in divergent locations of a large eastern city, and the subjects differed in ethnic and socio-economic...
Article
Investigated the effects of success and failure and their impact on valuation of resources in 3 experiments. In Exp. I, 36 male and 39 female 4th graders who participated in a bowling game and received predetermined scores indicating success or failure, were given the opportunity to contribute to a toy fund for needy children and then asked to esti...
Article
Investigated the effects of a person's positive affective state on his or her subsequent helpfulness to others. "Feeling good" was induced (a) in 52 male undergraduates by having received cookies while studying in a library (Study I), and (b) in 24 female and 17 male adults by having found a dime in the coin return of a public telephone (Study II)....
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3 experiments with adult Ss investigated the effects of the experience of success or failure on subsequent generosity, helpfulness, and attention to the social environment. On the basis of an intuitive formulation, designated the "warm glow of success" hypothesis, it was expected that Ss who had succeeded on a task would subsequently behave more ge...
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The research presented in this chapter illustrates complex but systematic interrelationships among social context, affect, cognition, intergroup evaluations, and intergroup behavior. A guiding framework is based on the social categorization perspective of intergroup behavior as reflected in the Common Ingroup Identity Model. The model proposes that...
Article
Three studies and a pilot experiment showed that positive affect, induced in any of three ways, influenced categorization of either of two types of stimuli—words or colors. As reflected by performance on two types of tasks (rating and sorting), people in whom positive affect had been induced tended to create and use categories more inclusively than...

Citations

... Humour may help to describe individual differences (Ruch et al. 2018), to enhance workplace communication (Holmes 2000), and to increase creativity and innovation (Isen et al. 1987). Thus, in an attempt to acquire the beneficial outcomes of humour, organisations often overlook the potentially negative side of humour (Morreall 1983). ...
... The dissociation between the linear and nonlinear categorization rules in PD patients is supported by a recent theory of category learning put forward by Ashby and colleagues (Ashby et al., , 1999aAshby et al., , 1999b). This theory, called competition between verbal and implicit system (COVIS), posits that two separate systems are involved in learning categorization rules. ...
... Such negative appraisals, in turn, reduce individuals' self-efficacy, or the belief that they can execute actions necessary to achieve specific goals (Bandura, 1997). This is because those trapped with negative appraisals tend to become narrow-minded, ruminate over uncontrollable aspects of the given situation, and overlook effective yet less obvious solutions for the problems they are facing (Afifi et al., 2013;Isen, 1990;Lyubomirsky & Nolen-Hoeksema, 1995). Since self-efficacy provides a psychological foundation for individuals to expend full efforts to transcend obstacles and achieve goals, reduced efficacy is likely to result in poorer job performance. ...
... Yine başka bir tanım ise; (Grieve ve Mahar, 2010: 945) kişinin, karşısındakinin duygularını kendisine hizmet edecek bir çerçevede, kendi yararına kullanma durumundan bahsetmektedir. Buss (1987Buss ( : 1218 ise; bireyin başkalarını bilinçli olarak etkilemesi ve onlar üzerinde duygusal istismara başvurmasını manipülasyon olarak tanımlamıştır. Bunlarla birlikte; Yılmaz, (2018: 451) ise manipülasyonu; eksik, kandırmaya dönük, hatta taciz düzeyinde stratejiler ile başkalarının algısını veya davranışlarında değişim yapmayı amaçlayan psikolojik bir etki faaliyeti olarak ifade edilmiştir. ...
... Reducing search costs expands a consumer choice set, thereby increasing the odds of incidental exposure to goods the consumer wasn't necessarily searching for. Research has shown incidental exposure to unfamiliar goods primes exploratory behavior which more educated person desire (Spassova et al. 2012). ...
... The relationship between thinking and feeling has been investigated and some studies show a positive influence of positive feeling on thinking. Positive feeling generally facilities thinking and problem solving, and influences the content and process of cognition (Isen, 2004). Frederickson's Broad and Build Theory focuses on the broadening aspect of positive emotion to attention and thinking, however, there is little evidence for the influence of thinking on feeling (Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005). ...
... For instance, more negative emotional words has been found in gambling disorder patients' narratives (35). Differently, positive emotions promote health, including broadening and building social, physical, and cognitive resources (36), increasing self-rated health and life satisfaction (37), facilitating flexibility in thinking (38), and reducing suicide risk (39). Difficulties in emotion regulation have also been associated with substance use and relapse (40,41), for example, greater non-alcohol substance use was related to difficulties in regulating positive emotions (42). ...
... High-pressure circumstances may therefore produce cognitive processing associated with a narrow conservative bias and risk of miss errors. In contrast, more relaxed situations may promote positive arousal with less intensive Tltering of information [29] and a more liberal bias with higher risk of false alarms. ...
... In addition to the original contributions that this research will be making as discussed above, the current study also places a heavy emphasis on the role that additional mental states might have on the outcomes, in particular, the role that affect may have on the ability of individuals to learn implicitly. The mood, or affective state, that an individual is experiencing at a particular time has been shown to influence many aspects of explicit cognition, such as idea generation, creativity, and information processing (Isen, 1987(Isen, , 1999Vosburg, 1998). The effect that an individuals' affective state may have on implicit cognitive abilities has only recently started to be investigated, and as such, there is a level of ambiguity and uncertainty with regards to just how much of an impact this mental state may have on a learners' implicit cognitive abilities. ...
... In this sense, response bias for negative critical lures in the DRM paradigm might also be boosted by the associations across list items. Still, to date, a limited number of studies that investigated the role of bias alongside of FM accuracy reported mixed results: increased liberal bias for low-arousal compared to high-arousal emotions regardless of valence (Van Damme, 2013), no bias shift for positive compared to neutral emotions (Yang et al., 2015) or increased liberal bias for negative compared to neutral items (Brainerd et al., 2008;Budson et al., 2006). These conflicting results may be due to certain methodological/measurement differences. ...