The experiment was devoted to determine whether mood influences selective attention oriented to emotional and not-emotional stimuli. Mood manipulation consisted of asking participants to write down a self-report of either sad or happy life event. No mood was induced in control group. Two versions of test were sequentially administered to measure selective attention: Schematic Expressions Test and Watches Test. The task was to detect and mark either faces presenting sadness or watches set on 5 o'clock, respectively. Due to evolutionary importance of stimuli participants were expected to detect faces more efficiently than watches. We also expected that negative mood would enhance selectivity especially with respect to emotional stimuli. The results proved that emotional stimuli were detected better than not-emotional, although the former suffered a decrease in detection ability. No mood impact on non-emotional stimuli processing was found.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.