Advertisement

Psychological Research

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 321–331 | Cite as

Implicit happiness and sadness are associated with ease and difficulty: evidence from sequential priming

  • Ruta Lasauskaite
  • Guido H. E. Gendolla
  • Mylène Bolmont
  • Laure Freydefont
Original Article

Abstract

Three experiments tested the hypothesis of implicit associations between happiness and the performance ease concept and between sadness and the performance difficulty concept. All three studies applied a sequential priming paradigm: participants categorized emotion words (Experiment 1) or facial expressions (Experiment 2) as positive or negative or as referring to ease or difficulty (Experiment 3). These targets were preceded by briefly flashed ease- or difficulty-related words or neutral non-words (Experiments 1 and 2) or by happy, sad, or neutral facial expressions (Experiment 3) as primes. As predicted, all three experiments revealed increases in reaction times in the sequential priming task from congruent trials (happiness/ease and sadness/difficulty) over neutral trials to incongruent trials (sadness/ease and happiness/difficulty). The findings provide evidence for implicit associative links of happiness with ease and sadness with difficulty, as posited by the implicit-affect-primes-effort model (Gendolla, Int J Psychophysiol 86:123–135, 2012; Soc Pers Psychol Compass 9:606–619, 2015).

Keywords

Target Word Congruency Effect Incongruent Trial Congruent Trial Incongruent Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by research grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF 100014-131760, 100014-140251) awarded to Guido H. E. Gendolla.

References

  1. Blanchfield, A., Hardy, J., & Marcora, S. (2014). Non-conscious visual cues related to affect and action alter perception of effort and endurance performance. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 967. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.0096.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Brehm, J. W., & Self, E. A. (1989). The intensity of motivation. Annual Review of Psychology, 40, 109–131. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ps.40.020189.000545.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Carr, T. H., McCauley, C., Sperber, R. D., & Parmelee, C. M. (1982). Words, pictures, and priming: on semantic activation, conscious identification, and the automaticity of information processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 8, 757–777. doi: 10.1037/0096-1523.8.6.757.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Chatelain, M., & Gendolla, G. H. E. (2015). Implicit fear and effort-related cardiac response. Biological Psychology, 111, 73–82. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.08.009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. De Houwer, J., Teige-Mocigemba, S., Spruyt, A., & Moors, A. (2009). Implicit measures: a normative analysis and review. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 347–368. doi: 10.1037/a0014211.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Dreisbach, G., & Fischer, R. (2012). Conflicts as aversive signals. Brain and Cognition, 78, 94–98. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2011.12.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Fazio, R. H. (2001). On the automatic activation of associated evaluations: an overview. Cognition and Emotion, 15, 115–141. doi: 10.1080/0269993004200024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freydefont, L., & Gendolla, G. H. E. (2012). Incentive moderates the impact of implicit anger versus sadness cues on effort-related cardiac response. Biological Psychology, 91(120), 127. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.04.002.Google Scholar
  9. Freydefont, L., Gendolla, G. H. E., & Silvestrini, N. (2012). Beyond valence: the differential effect of masked anger and sadness stimuli on effort-related cardiac response. Psychophysiology, 49, 665–671. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01340.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Gendolla, G. H. E. (2012). Implicit affect primes effort: a theory and research on cardiovascular response. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 86, 123–135. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.05.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Gendolla, G. H. E. (2015). Implicit affect primes effort: basic processes, moderators, and boundary conditions. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 9, 606–619. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gendolla, G. H. E., & Silvestrini, N. (2011). Smiles make it easier and so do frowns: masked affective stimuli influence mental effort. Emotion, 11, 320–328. doi: 10.1037/a0022593.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gendolla, G. H. E., Wright, R. A., & Richter, M. (2012). Effort intensity: some insights from the cardiovascular system. In R. M. Ryan (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of human motivation (pp. 420–440). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kirita, T., & Endo, M. (1995). Between face advantage in recognizing facial expressions. Acta Psychologica, 89, 149–163. doi: 10.1016/0001-6918(94)00021-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Klauer, K. C., & Musch, J. (2003). Affective priming: Findings and theories. In J. Musch & K. C. Klauer (Eds.), The psychology of evaluation: Affective processes in cognition and emotion (pp. 7–49). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  16. Kreibig, S. D., Gendolla, G. H. E., & Scherer, K. R. (2012). Goal relevance and goal conduciveness appraisals lead to differential autonomic reactivity in emotional responding to performance feedback. Biological Psychology, 91, 365–375. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.08.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Langner, O., Dotsch, R., Bijlstra, G., Wigboldus, D. H. J., Hawk, S. T., & van Knippenberg, A. (2010). Presentation and validation of the Radboud Faces Database. Cognition and Emotion, 24, 1377–1388. doi: 10.1080/02699930903485076.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lasauskaite, R., Gendolla, G. H. E., & Silvestrini, N. (2013). Do sadness-primes make me work harder because they make me sad? Cognition and Emotion, 27, 158–165. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2012.689756.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lasauskaite Schüpbach, R., Gendolla, G. H. E., & Silvestrini, N. (2014). Contrasting the effects of suboptimally versus optimally presented affect primes on effort-related cardiac response. Motivation and Emotion, 38, 748–758. doi: 10.1007/s11031-014-9438-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Leppänen, J. M., & Hietanen, J. K. (2003). Positive facial expressions are recognized faster than negative facial expressions, but why? Psychological Research, 69, 22–29. doi: 10.1007/s00426-003-0157-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Leppänen, J. M., Tenhunen, M., & Hietanen, J. K. (2003). Faster choice-reaction times to positive than to negative facial expressions: the role of cognitive and motor processes. Journal of Psychophysiology, 17, 113–123. doi: 10.1027//0269-8803.17.3.113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lundqvist, D., & Litton, J. E. (1998). The Averaged Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces—AKDEF. CD ROM from Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychology Section, Karolinska Institutet.Google Scholar
  23. McShane, B. B., & Bockenholt, U. (2014). You cannot step into the same river twice: when power analyses are optimistic. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9, 612–625. doi: 10.1177/174569161454851.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Murphy, S. T., & Zajonc, R. B. (1993). Affect, cognition, and awareness: affective priming with optimal and suboptimal stimulus exposures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 723–739. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.64.5.723.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Neumann, R., & Lozo, L. (2012). Priming the activation of fear and disgust: evidence for semantic priming. Emotion, 12, 223–228. doi: 10.1037/a0026500.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Niedenthal, P. M. (2008). Emotion concepts. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (3rd ed., pp. 587–600). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  27. Nosek, B. A., Hawkins, C. B., & Frazier, R. S. (2011). Implicit social cognition: from measures to mechanisms. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15, 152–159. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.01.005.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Robinson, M. D., & Clore, G. L. (2002). Belief and feeling: evidence for an accessibility model of emotional self-report. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 934–960. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.128.6.934.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Rohr, M., Degner, J., & Wentura, D. (2012). Masked emotional priming beyond global valence activations. Cognition and Emotion, 26, 224–244. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2011.57685.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (1985). Contrast analysis: Focused comparisons in the analysis of variance. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Silvestrini, N., & Gendolla, G. H. E. (2011a). Do not prime too much: prime frequency effects of masked affective stimuli on effort-related cardiovascular response. Biological Psychology, 87, 195–199. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.01.006.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Silvestrini, N., & Gendolla, G. H. E. (2011b). Masked affective stimuli moderate task difficulty effects on effort-related cardiovascular response. Psychophysiology, 48, 1157–1164. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01181.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). False-positive psychology: undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological Science, 22, 1359–1366. doi: 10.1177/0956797611417632.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Simon, J. R. (1969). Reaction toward the source of stimulation. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 81, 174–176. doi: 10.1037/h0027448.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Unkelbach, C., Fiedler, K., Bayer, M., Stegmüller, M., & Danner, D. (2008). Why positive information is processed faster: the density hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 36–49. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.95.1.36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Wentura, D., & Degner, J. (2010). A practical guide to sequential priming and related tasks. In B. Gawronski & B. K. Payne (Eds.), Handbook of implicit social cognition (pp. 95–116). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  37. Wentura, D., & Rothermund, K. (2014). Priming is not priming is not priming. Social Cognition, 32, 47–67. doi: 10.1521/soco.2014.32.supp.47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wilkinson, L., & The Task Force on Statistical Inference. (1999). Statistical methods in psychology journals: guidelines and explanations. American Psychologist, 54, 594–604. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.54.8.594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zajonc, R. B. (1980). Feeling and thinking: preferences need no inferences. American Psychologist, 35, 151–175. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.35.2.151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geneva Motivation Lab, FPSE, Department of PsychologyUniversity of GenevaGeneva 4Switzerland

Personalised recommendations