NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ850760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Emotion Words, Regardless of Polarity, Have a Processing Advantage over Neutral Words
Kousta, Stavroula-Thaleia; Vinson, David P.; Vigliocco, Gabriella
Cognition, v112 n3 p473-481 Sep 2009
Despite increasing interest in the interface between emotion and cognition, the role of emotion in cognitive tasks is unclear. According to one hypothesis, negative valence is more relevant for survival and is associated with a general slowdown of the processing of stimuli, due to a defense mechanism that freezes activity in the face of threat. According to a different hypothesis which does not posit a privileged role for the aversive system, valence, regardless of polarity, facilitates processing due to the relevance of both negative and positive stimuli for survival and for the attainment of goals. Here, we present evidence that emotional valence has an overall facilitatory role in the processing of verbal stimuli, providing support for the latter hypothesis. We found no asymmetry between negative and positive words and suggest that previous findings of such an asymmetry can be attributed to failure to control for a number of critical lexical variables and to a sampling bias.
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; 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