Implicit happiness and sadness are associated with ease and difficulty: evidence from sequential priming
- 361 Downloads
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).
KeywordsTarget Word Congruency Effect Incongruent Trial Congruent Trial Incongruent Condition
This research was supported by research grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF 100014-131760, 100014-140251) awarded to Guido H. E. Gendolla.
- 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: 10.1037/0096-1518.104.22.1687.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (1985). Contrast analysis: Focused comparisons in the analysis of variance. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- 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