Title

Being Bad Isn't Always Good: Affective Context Moderates the Attention Bias Toward Negative Information

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Publication Title

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Volume Number

90

Issue Number

2

DOI

10.1037/0022-3514.90.2.210

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that people automatically devote more attention to negative information than to positive information. The authors conducted 3 experiments to test whether this bias is attenuated by a person's affective context. Specifically, the authors primed participants with positive and negative information using traditional (e.g., subliminal semantic priming) and nontraditional (e.g., social interactions) means and measured the amount of attention they allocated to positive and negative information. With both event-related brain potentials (Experiment 1) and the Stroop task (Experiments 2 and 3), results suggest that the attention bias to negative information is attenuated or eliminated when positive constructs are made accessible. The implications of this result for other biases to negative information and for the self-reinforcing nature of emotional disorders are discussed.

ISSN

0022-3514

First Page

210

Last Page

220

Link Out URL

https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.90.2.210

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