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Implicit happiness and sadness are associated with ease and difficulty: evidence from sequential priming


Lasauskaite, Ruta; Gendolla, Guido H E; Bolmont, Mylène; Freydefont, Laure (2017). Implicit happiness and sadness are associated with ease and difficulty: evidence from sequential priming. Psychological Research, 81(1):321-331.

Abstract

Three experiments tested the hypothesis of implicit associations between happiness and the performance ease concept and between sadness and the performance difficulty concept. All three studies applied a sequential priming paradigm: participants categorized emotion words (Experiment 1) or facial expressions (Experiment 2) as positive or negative or as referring to ease or difficulty (Experiment 3). These targets were preceded by briefly flashed ease- or difficulty-related words or neutral non-words (Experiments 1 and 2) or by happy, sad, or neutral facial expressions (Experiment 3) as primes. As predicted, all three experiments revealed increases in reaction times in the sequential priming task from congruent trials (happiness/ease and sadness/difficulty) over neutral trials to incongruent trials (sadness/ease and happiness/difficulty). The findings provide evidence for implicit associative links of happiness with ease and sadness with difficulty, as posited by the implicit-affect-primes-effort model (Gendolla, Int J Psychophysiol 86:123-135, 2012; Soc Pers Psychol Compass 9:606-619, 2015).

Abstract

Three experiments tested the hypothesis of implicit associations between happiness and the performance ease concept and between sadness and the performance difficulty concept. All three studies applied a sequential priming paradigm: participants categorized emotion words (Experiment 1) or facial expressions (Experiment 2) as positive or negative or as referring to ease or difficulty (Experiment 3). These targets were preceded by briefly flashed ease- or difficulty-related words or neutral non-words (Experiments 1 and 2) or by happy, sad, or neutral facial expressions (Experiment 3) as primes. As predicted, all three experiments revealed increases in reaction times in the sequential priming task from congruent trials (happiness/ease and sadness/difficulty) over neutral trials to incongruent trials (sadness/ease and happiness/difficulty). The findings provide evidence for implicit associative links of happiness with ease and sadness with difficulty, as posited by the implicit-affect-primes-effort model (Gendolla, Int J Psychophysiol 86:123-135, 2012; Soc Pers Psychol Compass 9:606-619, 2015).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:January 2017
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 09:57
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:30
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-0727
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-015-0732-3
PubMed ID:26669691

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