Document Detail

Negative emotional photographs are identified more slowly than positive photographs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22539190     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
In three experiments, we investigated whether the emotional valence of a photograph influenced the amount of time required to initially identify the contents of the image. In Experiment 1, participants saw a slideshow consisting of positive, neutral, and negative photographs that were balanced for arousal. During the slideshow, presentation time was substantially limited (60 ms), and the images were followed by masks. Immediately following the slideshows, participants were given a recognition memory test. Memory performance was best for positive images and worst for negative images (Experiment 1). In Experiment 2, two simultaneous photographs were briefly presented and masked. On a trial-by-trial basis, participants indicated whether the two images were identical or not, thus removing the need for memory storage and retrieval. Again, performance was worst for negative images. The results of Experiment 3 suggested that these valence-based differences were not related attentional effects (Experiment 3). We argue that the valence of an image is detected rapidly and, in the case of negative images, interferes with processing the identity of the scene.
Mark W Becker
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-4-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Attention, perception & psychophysics     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1943-393X     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101495384     Medline TA:  Atten Percept Psychophys     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA,
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