NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1006988
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Happiness by Association: Breadth of Free Association Influences Affective States
Brunye, Tad T.; Gagnon, Stephanie A.; Paczynski, Martin; Shenhav, Amitai; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Taylor, Holly A.
Cognition, v127 n1 p93-98 Apr 2013
Several studies have demonstrated that affective states influence the number of associations formed between remotely related concepts. Someone in a neutral or negative affective state might draw the association between "cold" and "hot", whereas someone in a positive affective state might spontaneously form the more distant association between "cold" and "sneeze". Could the reverse be true, that generating increasingly broad or narrow associations will put someone in a more or less positive affective state? We test this possibility by using verbal free association tasks, and asking whether the breadth of semantic associativity between cue words and generated responses might predict resulting affective states. Two experiments show that generating broader associations, regardless of their valence, changes affect; specifically, broader associations lowered negative affect and marginally increased positive affect over time. These findings carry implications for theories positing interactions between brain areas mediating associative processing and affect, and may hold promise for enhancing affect in clinical contexts. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
Elsevier. 3251 Riverport Lane, Maryland Heights, MO 63043. Tel: 800-325-4177; Tel: 314-447-8000; Fax: 314-447-8033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A