Essay on The Effects Of Emotion On Word Processing

Essay on The Effects Of Emotion On Word Processing

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Emotions“represent complex psychological and physiological states that, to a greater or lesser degree, index occurrences of value” (Dolan, 2002). Therefore it is not surprising to say emotion influences human cognition, but how does emotion impacts cognitive processing is not very clear. Historically most psychologists viewed cognition and emotions as two separate fields. Nevertheless, in past two decades a growing body of evidence showed cognition and emotion are very closely interdependent. Psycholinguists are studying effects of emotion on word processing and word recognition; both are known to be cognitive demands. Experiments conducted in this area are usually involving emotional valence, which specifies whether stimulus is positive or negative, and emotional arousal, which defines the emotional intensity that has linked with the stimulus which can be associated to physiological activation (Briesemeister
, Kuchinke & Jacobs
, 2011). Studying word recognition and word processing can provide some insights to effects of emotion on cognitive tasks.

There are theatrically two distinct models that are explaining valence effects on emotional word recognition. One system believes emotions are emerging from motivational systems, appetitive or aversive. This system suggests responses to highly valence stimuli are much quicker than responses to less valence stimuli, in this theory the polarity of valence is not significant. In this model valence is a continuous dimension from positive to negative and in the middle is the neutral, this model is known as motivational system (Kousta, Vinson & Vigliocco
, 2009). In contrary, Estes and Adelman (2008) introduced a new model. This model is based on automatic vigilance hypothesis, which is sta...


... middle of paper ...


...uli were word or non-word by pressing one of the two keys on keyboard with left or right index finger. Once the participants understood the task they started the experiments. Each block was consisting of 80 trails, 40 being non-words. Words were presented in a random order. All stimuli were in capital letters in white using face Courier New font; size 18, presented on a black screen. Between each block participants were allowed to take a short break. The experimental session lasted about approximately 20 minutes.
3. Results
The result of this study is presented in Table 1. The mean reaction times for correct responses and error rates for each condition is included. Negative words were recognized slower and with more errors compare to neutral and positive words. Positive words were recognized faster and had the lowest error rate compare to negative and neutral words.

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