Mood effects on attentional control: a preregistered replication study and critical analysis

Cognition and Emotion 32 (1):145-157 (2018)
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In a widely cited paper, Jefferies et al.. Emotional valence and arousal interact in attentional control. Psychological Science, 19, 290–295. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02082.x[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]) report a study in which they manipulated participants’ mood and examined the effects of this manipulation on their performance on the Attentional Blink task. Their results revealed an interaction between emotional valence and arousal: attentional control of participants who experienced a negative mood with low arousal was best, whereas it was worst for participants who experienced a negative mood with high arousal. Performance for participants who were in a positive mood, either with low arousal or high arousal had intermediate scores. In this study, I examined the replicability of this effect and performed additional analyses to investigate the extent to which this effect is due to perceptual or attentional processes and to examine the role of distraction on AB performance. Importantly, the results showed that the crucial interaction between emotional valence and arousal did not reach significance. This could be due a diversity of factors that are addressed in the discussion.



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