Advertisement

Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 81–97 | Cite as

Is the emotional Stroop task a special case of mood induction? Evidence from sustained effects of attention under emotion

  • Moshe Shay Ben-HaimEmail author
  • Yaniv Mama
  • Michal Icht
  • Daniel Algom
Article

Abstract

Sustained effects of emotion are well known in everyday experience. Surprisingly, such effects are seldom recorded in laboratory studies of the emotional Stroop task, in which participants name the color of emotion and neutral words. Color performance is more sluggish with emotion words than with neutral words, the emotional Stroop effect (ESE). The ESE is not sensitive to the order in which the two groups of words are presented, so the effect of exposure to emotion words does not extend to disrupting performance in a subsequent block with neutral words. We attribute this absence of a sustained effect to habituation engendered by excessive repetition of the experimental stimuli. In a series of four experiments, we showed that sustained effects do occur when habituation is removed, and we also showed that the massive exposure to negative stimuli within the ESE paradigm induces a commensurately negative mood. A novel perspective is offered, in which the ESE is considered a special case of mood induction.

Keywords

Sustained effects Emotion Habituation Mood induction Emotional Stroop effect 

References

  1. Algom, D., Chajut, E., & Lev, S. (2004). A rational look at the emotional Stroop phenomenon: A generic slowdown, not a Stroop effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 323–338. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.133.3.323 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Algom, D., Zakay, D., Monar, O., & Chajut, E. (2009). Wheel chairs and arm chairs: A novel experimental design for the emotional Stroop effect. Cognition and Emotion, 23, 1552–1564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amir, N., Najmi, S., & Morrison, A. S. (2009). Attenuation of attention bias in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 153–157. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2008.10.020 PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banse, R., & Scherer, K. (1996). Acoustic profiles in vocal emotion expression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(3), 614–636.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bar-Haim, Y., Lamy, D., Pergamin, L., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2007). Threat-related attentional bias in anxious and non-anxious individuals: A meta-analytic study. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 1–24. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.133.1.1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barrett, J., & Paus, T. (2002). Affect-induced changes in speech production. Experimental Brain Research, 146, 531–537.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Becker, E. S., Rinck, M., Margraf, J., & Roth, W. T. (2001). The emotional Stroop effect in anxiety disorders: General emotionality or disorder specificity? Anxiety Disorders, 15, 147–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ben-David, B. M., Calderon, N., & Algom, D. (2005). A signal detection analysis of the emotional Stroop effect. In J. S. Monahan, S. M. Sheffert, & J. T. Townsend (Eds.), Fechner Day 2005 (pp. 35–38). Traverse City MI: International Society for Psychophysics.Google Scholar
  9. Ben-David, B. M., Chajut, E., & Algom, D. (2012). The pale shades of emotion: A signal detection theory analysis of the emotional Stroop task. Psychology, 3, 537–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blanchette, I., & Richards, A. (2013). Is emotional Stroop interference linked to affective responses? Evidence from skin conductance and facial electromyography. Emotion, 13, 129–138.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bradley, M. M., Cuthbert, B. N., & Lang, P. J. (1996). Picture media and emotion: Effects of a sustained affective context. Psychophysiology, 33, 662–670.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buchwald, A. M., Strack, S., & Coyne, J. C. (1981). Demand characteristics and the Velten mood induction procedure. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 49, 478–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Byrne, D., & Clore, G. L. (1970). A reinforcement model of evaluative responses. Personality: An International Journal, 31, 103–128.Google Scholar
  14. Chajut, E., Mama, Y., Levy, L., & Algom, D. (2010a). Avoiding the approach trap: A response bias theory of the emotional Stroop effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 1567–1572.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Chajut, E., Schupak, A., & Algom, D. (2010b). Emotional dilution of the Stroop effect: A new tool for assessing attention under emotion. Emotion, 10, 944–948.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clark, D. (1983). On the induction of depressed mood in the laboratory—Evaluation and comparison of the velten and musical procedures. Advances in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 5, 27–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Coleman, R. E. (1975). Manipulation of self.esteem as a determinant of mood of elated and depressed women. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 84, 693–700.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dalgleish, T. (1995). Performance on the emotional Stroop task in groups of anxious, expert, and control subjects: A comparison of computer and card presentation formats. Cognition and Emotion, 9, 341–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Davis, M. (1988). Are different parts of the extended amygdala involved in fear versus anxiety? Biological Psychiatry, 15, 1239–1247.Google Scholar
  20. Ellgring, H., & Scherer, K. (1996). Vocal indicators of mood change in depression. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 20, 83–110. doi: 10.1007/BF02253071 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ellis, H. C., & Ashbrook, P. W. (1988). Resource allocation model of the effects of depressed mood states on memory. In K. Fiedler & J. Forgas (Eds.), Affect, cognition, and social behavior: New evidence and integrative attempts (pp. 25–43). Toronto, ON: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  22. Ellis, H. C., & Ashbrook, P. W. (1989). The “state” of mood and memory research: A selective review. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 4, 1–21.Google Scholar
  23. Fox, E., Russo, R., Bowles, R., & Dutton, K. (2001). Do threatening stimuli draw or hold visual attention in subclinical anxiety? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130, 681–700. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.130.4.681 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Frings, C., Englert, J., Wentura, D., & Bermeitinger, C. (2010). Decomposing the emotional Stroop effect. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 42–49. doi: 10.1080/17470210903156594 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Frost, R., & Plaut, D. (2001). The Word-Frequency Database for Printed Hebrew. Retrieved from http://word-freq.mscc.huji.ac.il/index.html
  26. Gerrards-Hesse, A., Spies, K., & Hesse, F. (1994). Experimental inductions of emotional states and their effectiveness—A review. British Journal of Psychology, 85, 55–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gilboa-Schechtman, E., Revelle, W., & Gotlib, I. (2000). Stroop interference following mood induction: Emotionality, mood congruence, and concern relevance. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24, 491–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gomez, P., Zimmermann, P. G., Guttormsen-Schar, S., & Danuser, B. (2009). Valence lasts longer than arousal: Persistence of induced moods as assessed by psychophysiological measures. Journal of Psychophysiology, 23, 7–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gouaux, C., & Gouaux, S. M. (1971). The influence of induced affective states on the effectiveness of social and non-social reinforcers in an instrumental learning task. Psychonomic Science, 22, 341–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Griffitt, W. (1970). Environmental effects on interpersonal affective behavior: Ambient effective temperature and attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 15, 240–244.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Griffitt, W., & Veitch, R. (1971). Hot and crowded: Influences of population density and temperature on interpersonal affective behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17, 92–98.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Higgins, E., Rholes, W., & Jones, C. (1977). Category accessibility and impression-formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 141–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hoehn-Saric, R., Schlund, M. W., & Wong, S. H. (2004). Effects of citalopram on worry and brain activation in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Psychiatry Research, 131, 11–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Holle, C., Neely, J. H., & Heimberg, R. G. (1997). The effects of blocked versus random presentation and semantic relatedness of stimulus words on response to a modified Stroop task among social phobics. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 21, 681–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kenealy, P. M. (1986). The Velten mood induction procedure: A methodological review. Motivation and Emotion, 10, 315–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Larsen, R. J., Mercer, K. A., & Balota, D. A. (2006). Lexical characteristics of words used in emotional Stroop experiments. Emotion, 6, 62–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. MacKay, D. G., Shafto, M., Taylor, J. K., Marian, D. E., Abrams, L., & Dyer, J. R. (2004). Relations between emotion, memory, and attention: Evidence from taboo Stroop, lexical decision, and immediate memory tasks. Memory & Cognition, 32, 474–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mama, Y., Ben-Haim, M. S., & Algom, D. (2013). When emotion does and does not impair performance: A Garner theory of the emotional Stroop effect. Cognition and Emotion, 27, 589–602. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2012.726212 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Matheny, K. B., & Blue, F. R. (1977). The effects of self-induced mood states on behavior and physiological arousal. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 3, 936–940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McKenna, F. P. (1986). Effects of unattended emotional stimuli on color naming performance. Current Psychological Research and Reviews, 5, 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McKenna, F. P., & Lewis, C. (1994). A speech rate measure of laboratory induced affect—The role of demand characteristics revisited. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33, 345–351.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McKenna, F. P., & Sharma, D. (1995). Intrusive cognitions: An investigation of the emotional Stroop task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21, 1595–1607. doi: 10.1037/0278-7393.21.6.1595 Google Scholar
  43. McKenna, F. P., & Sharma, D. (2004). Reversing the emotional Stroop effect reveals that it is not what it seems: The role of fast and slow components. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30, 382–392.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. McNair, D. M., Lorr, M., & Droppleman, L. F. (1971). EdITS manual for the Profile of Mood States. San Diego, CA: Educational and Industrial Testing Service.Google Scholar
  45. McNally, R. J., Riemann, B. C., & Kim, E. (1990). Selective processing of threat cues in panic disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 28, 407–412.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Natale, M. (1977). Effects of induced elation–depression on speech in the initial interview. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 45, 45–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Natale, M. (1978). Effect of induced elation and depression on internal locus of control. Journal of Psychology, 100, 315–321.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Nets, Y., Zeav, A., Arnon, M., & Daniel, S. (2005). Translating a single-word items scale with multiple subcomponents—A Hebrew translation of the Profile of Mood States. Israeli Journal of Psychiatry Related Science, 42, 263–270.Google Scholar
  49. Öhman, A., Flykt, A., & Esteves, F. (2001). Emotion drives attention: Detecting the snake in the grass. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130, 466–478. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.130.3.466 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Parrott, W., & Sabini, J. (1990). Mood and memory under natural conditions—Evidence for mood incongruent recall. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 321–336. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.59.2.321 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Paulus, M. P., Feinstein, J. S., Castillo, G., Simmons, A. N., & Stein, M. B. (2005). Dose-dependent decrease of activation in bilateral amygdala and insula by Lorazepam during emotion processing. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 282–288.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Paulus, M. P., & Stein, M. B. (2006). An insular view on anxiety. Biological Psychiatry, 60, 383–387.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pereira, M. G., Volchan, E., Leal de Souza, G. G., Oliveira, L., Campagnoli, R. R., Pinheiro, W. M., & Pessoa, L. (2006). Sustained and transient modulation of performance induced by emotional picture viewing. Emotion, 6, 622–634.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Phaf, R. H., & Kan, K. J. (2007). The automaticity of emotional Stroop: A meta-analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 38, 184–199. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2006.10.008 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rankin, C. H., Abrams, T., Barry, R. J., Bhatnagar, S., Clayton, D. F., Colombo, J., & Thompson, R. F. (2009). Habituation revisited: An updated and revised description of the behavioral characteristics of habituation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92, 135–138.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Richards, A., French, C. C., Johnson, W., Naparstek, J., & Williams, J. (1992). Effects of mood manipulation and anxiety on performance of an emotional Stroop task. British Journal of Psychology, 83, 479–491.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Scherer, K. R., Ladd, D. R., & Silverman, K. E. A. (1984). Vocal cues to speaker affect: Testing two models. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 76, 1346–1356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Segerstrom, S. C. (2001). Optimism and attentional bias for negative and positive stimuli. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1334–1343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Siegman, A., & Boyle, S. (1993). Voices of fear and anxiety and sadness and depression—The effects of speech rate and loudness on fear and anxiety and sadness and depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 430–437. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.102.3.430 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Smith, J. C., Bradley, M. M., & Lang, P. J. (2005). State anxiety an affective physiology: Effects of sustained exposure to affective pictures. Biological Psychology, 69, 247–260.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sobin, C., & Alpert, M. (1999). Emotion in speech: The acoustic attributes of fear, anger, sadness, and joy. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 28, 347–365.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Somerville, L. H., Wagner, D. D., Wig, G. S., Moran, J. M., Whalen, P. J., & Kelley, W. M. (2013). Interactions between transient and sustained neural signals support the generation and regulation of anxious emotion. Cerebral Cortex, 23, 49–60. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr373 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Teasdale, J. D., Taylor, R., & Fogarty, S. J. (1980). Effects of induced elation-depression on the accessibility of memories of happy and unhappy experiences. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 18, 339–346.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Thompson, R. F. (2009). Habituation: A history. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92, 127–134.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Velten, E. (1968). A laboratory task for induction of mood states. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 6, 473–482.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Westermann, R., Spies, K., Stahl, G., & Hesse, F. W. (1996). Relative effectiveness and validity of mood induction procedures: A metaanalysis. European Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 557–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Williams, C. E., & Stevens, K. N. (1969). On determining the emotional state of pilots during flight: An exploratory study. Aerospace Medicine, 40, 1369–1372.Google Scholar
  68. Williams, C. E., & Stevens, K. N. (1972). Emotions and speech: Some acoustical correlates. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 52, 1238–1250.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Williams, J. M. G., Mathews, A., & MacLeod, C. (1996). The emotional Stroop task and psychopathology. Psychological Bulletin, 120, 3–24. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.120.1.3 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Witthöft, M., Rist, F., & Bailer, J. (2008). Enhanced early emotional intrusion effects and proportional habituation of threat response for symptom and illness words in college students with elevated health anxiety. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32, 818–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moshe Shay Ben-Haim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yaniv Mama
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michal Icht
    • 1
    • 3
  • Daniel Algom
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Psychological SciencesTel-Aviv UniversityRamat-AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral SciencesAriel UniversityArielIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Communication Disorders, School of HealthAriel UniversityArielIsrael

Personalised recommendations