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


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.


Sustained effects Emotion Habituation Mood induction Emotional Stroop effect 


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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

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