This investigation tested the hypothesis that individuals low in positive affect are slower to shift attention from one focus to another. Ninety-six participants completed a self-report mood questionnaire and a standard attentional orienting task. Results indicated a significant correlation between cue validity effects and self-reported positive affect, such that individuals low in positive affect were relatively faster to respond to validly-cued targets and slower to respond to invalidly-cued targets, compared to individuals high in positive affect. Negative affect, psychometrically separated from positive affect by a principal components analysis, was unrelated to attentional orienting but was correlated with generalized alerting effects of cues. The main results are interpreted as supporting decreased cognitive flexibility in states of low positive affect.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology