Positive mood is associated with the implicit use of distraction
- First Online:
- 425 Downloads
Previous research demonstrates that individuals in a positive mood are differentially distracted by irrelevant information during an ongoing task (Rowe et al. in Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:383–388, 2007). The present study investigated whether susceptibility to distraction shown by individuals in a positive mood results in greater implicit memory for that distraction. Participants performed a similarity-judgment task on pictures that were superimposed with distracting words. When these previously distracting words could be used as solutions on a delayed implicit task administered several minutes later, performance was positively correlated with pleasantness of mood. Individuals in a positive mood are more likely than others to use previously irrelevant information to facilitate performance on a subsequent implicit task, a finding with implications for the relationship between positive mood and creativity.
KeywordsEmotional states Positive affect Attention Distraction Implicit memory
- Campbell, K. L., Hasher, L., & Thomas, R. C. (2010). Hyper-binding: A unique age effect. Psychological Science (Advance online publication). doi:10.1177/0956797609359910.
- Carvalho, J. O., & Ready, R. E. (2009). Emotion and executive functioning: The effect of normal mood states on fluency tasks. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology (Advance online publication). doi:10.1080/13803390902902458.
- Corsi, P. M. (1972). Human memory and the medial temporal region of the brain. Dissertation Abstracts International, 34(02), 819B. (UMI No. AA105-77717).Google Scholar
- Eriksen, B. A., & Eriksen, C. W. (1974). Effects of noise letters upon the identification of a target letter in a nonsearch task. Perception & Psychophysics, 16, 143–149.Google Scholar
- Hasher, L., Zacks, R. T., & May, C. P. (1999). Inhibitory control, circadian arousal, and age. In D. Gopher & A. Koriat (Eds.), Attention and performance XVII: Cognitive regulation of performance (pp. 653–675). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Ikier, S. (2005). Age differences in implicit interference. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.Google Scholar
- Kim, S., Hasher, L., & Zacks, R. T. (2007). Aging and benefit of distractibility. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 301–305.Google Scholar
- May, C. P. (1999). Synchrony effects in cognition: The costs and a benefit. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 6, 142–147.Google Scholar