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Category: Cognition and Emotion

“So Happy I Could Shout!” and “So Happy I Could Cry!” Dimorphous expressions represent and communicate motivational aspects of positive emotions

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 286-302 Abstract “Happiness can be expressed through smiles. Happiness can also be expressed through physical displays that without context, would appear to be sadness (tears, downward turned mouths, and crumpled body postures) and anger (clenched jaws, snarled lips, furrowed brows, and pumped fists). These seemingly incongruent displays of happiness, termed dimorphous expressions, we propose, represent and communicate expressers’ motivational orientations. When participants reported their own aggressive expressions in positive or negative contexts, their expressions represented positive or negative emotional experiences respectively, imbued with appetitive orientations (feelings of wanting to go). In contrast, reported sad expressions, in… Read More

Proactive and reactive control depends on emotional valence: a Stroop study with emotional expressions and words

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 325-340 Abstract “We examined proactive and reactive control effects in the context of task-relevant happy, sad, and angry facial expressions on a face-word Stroop task. Participants identified the emotion expressed by a face that contained a congruent or incongruent emotional word (happy/sad/angry). Proactive control effects were measured in terms of the reduction in Stroop interference (difference between incongruent and congruent trials) as a function of previous trial emotion and previous trial congruence. Reactive control effects were measured in terms of the reduction in Stroop interference as a function of current trial emotion… Read More

Facial age cues and emotional expression interact asymmetrically: age cues moderate emotion categorisation

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 350-362 Abstract “Facial attributes such as race, sex, and age can interact with emotional expressions; however, only a couple of studies have investigated the nature of the interaction between facial age cues and emotional expressions and these have produced inconsistent results. Additionally, these studies have not addressed the mechanism/s driving the influence of facial age cues on emotional expression or vice versa. In the current study, participants categorised young and older adult faces expressing happiness and anger (Experiment 1) or sadness (Experiment 2) by their age and their emotional expression. Age cues… Read More

Combined behavioural markers of cognitive biases are associated with anhedonia

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 422-430 Abstract “Biases towards negative information, as well as away from positive information, are associated with psychopathology. Examining biases in multiple processes has been theorised to be more predictive than examining bias in any process alone. Anhedonia is a core symptom of psychopathology and predictive of future psychopathological symptoms. Finding that combined biases are associated with anhedonia would advance knowledge of the nature of emotional processing biases and the value of objective performance-based measures for identifying early risk markers. Participants (N = 139) completed tasks that assess latency bias (dot probe) and biased recognition… Read More

The contextual malleability of approach-avoidance training effects: approaching or avoiding fear conditioned stimuli modulates effects of approach-avoidance training

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 341-349 Abstract “Previous research showed that the repeated approaching of one stimulus and avoiding of another stimulus typically leads to more positive evaluations of the former stimuli. In the current study, we examined whether approach and avoidance training (AAT) effects on evaluations of neutral stimuli can be modulated by introducing a regularity between the approach-avoidance actions and a positive or negative (feared) stimulus. In an AAT task, participants repeatedly approached one neutral non-word and avoided another neutral non-word. Half of the participants also approached a negative fear-conditioned stimulus (CS+) and avoided a… Read More

The automatic activation of emotion words measured using the emotional face-word Stroop task in late Chinese–English bilinguals

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 315-324 Abstract “In the current study, late Chinese–English bilinguals performed a facial expression identification task with emotion words in the task-irrelevant dimension, in either their first language (L1) or second language (L2). The investigation examined the automatic access of the emotional content in words appearing in more than one language. Significant congruency effects were present for both L1 and L2 emotion word processing. Furthermore, the magnitude of emotional face-word Stroop effect in the L1 task was greater as compared to the L2 task, indicating that in L1 participants could access the emotional… Read More

Finding the good in the bad: age and event experience relate to the focus on positive aspects of a negative event

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 414-421 Abstract “All lives contain negative events, but how we think about these events differs across individuals; negative events often include positive details that can be remembered alongside the negative, and the ability to maintain both representations may be beneficial. In a survey examining emotional responses to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the current study investigated how this ability shifts as a function of age and individual differences in initial experience of the event. Specifically, this study examined how emotional importance (i.e. self-reported emotional arousal and personal significance), involvement (i.e. self and… Read More

Attentional bias during emotional processing: evidence from an emotional flanker task using IAPS

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 275-285 Abstract “Attention is biased towards threat-related stimuli. In three experiments, we investigated the mechanisms, processes, and time course of this processing bias. An emotional flanker task simultaneously presented affective or neutral pictures from the international affective picture system database either as central response-relevant stimuli or surrounding response-uninformative flankers. Participants’ response times to central stimuli was measured. The attentional bias was observed when stimuli were presented either for 1500 ms (Experiment 1) or 500 ms (Experiment 2). The threat-related attentional bias held regardless of the stimuli competing for attention even when presentation time was… Read More

Attentional capture by irrelevant emotional distractor faces is contingent on implicit attentional settings

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 303-314 Abstract “Although expressions of facial emotion hold a special status in attention relative to other complex objects, whether they summon our attention automatically and against our intentions remains a debated issue. Studies supporting the strong view that attentional capture by facial expressions of emotion is entirely automatic reported that a unique (singleton) emotional face distractor interfered with search for a target that was also unique on a different dimension. Participants could therefore search for the odd-one out face to locate the target and attentional capture by irrelevant emotional faces might be… Read More

Decision mechanisms underlying mood-congruent emotional classification

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 249-258 Abstract “There is great interest in understanding whether and how mood influences affective processing. Results in the literature have been mixed: some studies show mood-congruent processing but others do not. One limitation of previous work is that decision components for affective processing and responses biases are not dissociated. The present study explored the roles of affective processing and response biases using a drift-diffusion model (DDM) of simple choice. In two experiments, participants decided if words were emotionally positive or negative while listening to music that induced positive or negative mood. The… Read More