Cognition and Emotion 32 (4):796-811 (2017)

The aim of this study was to investigate the role of discrete emotions in lexical processing and memory, focusing on disgust and fear. We compared neutral words to disgust-related words and fear-related words in three experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants performed a lexical decision task, and in Experiment 3 an affective categorisation task. These tasks were followed by an unexpected memory task. The results of the LDT experiments showed slower reaction times for both types of negative words with respect to neutral words, plus a higher percentage of errors, this being more consistent for fear-related words than for disgust-related words. Furthermore, only disgusting words exhibited a higher recall accuracy than neutral words in the memory task. Moreover, the advantage in memory for disgusting words disappeared when participants carried out an affective categorisation task during encoding, suggesting that the superiority in memory for disgusting words observed in Experiments 1 and 2 could be due to greater elaborative processing. Taken together, these findings point to the relevance of discrete emotions in explaining the effects of the emotional content on lexical processing and memory.
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1080/02699931.2017.1356700
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Are There Basic Emotions?Paul Ekman - 1992 - Psychological Review 99 (3):550-553.

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