ERIC Number: EJ922682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
Toward an Understanding of the Influence of Affective States on Attentional Tuning: Comment on Friedman and Forster (2010)
Harmon-Jones, Eddie; Gable, Philip A.; Price, Tom F.
Psychological Bulletin, v137 n3 p508-512 May 2011
Friedman and Forster (2010) reviewed an extensive program of research that was consistent with the view that positive affective states broaden, whereas negative affective states narrow, the scope of attention. We applaud their creative investigations into these important psychological questions and appreciate their thorough review. However, recent evidence strongly suggests that the conclusions drawn by Friedman and Forster need to be tempered, for the recent evidence suggests that motivational intensity rather than affective valence causes the modulations of attentional tuning. That is, affective states of low motivational intensity (e.g., sadness, postgoal positive affect) broaden attention, whereas affective states of high motivational intensity (e.g., disgust, pregoal positive affect) narrow attention. Our viewpoint is that attentional narrowing occurs during affective states of high motivational intensity to aid organisms in acquiring desirable objects and avoiding aversive ones. Attentional broadening occurs during affective states of low motivational intensity to open organisms to new opportunities.
Descriptors: Evidence, Investigations, Motivation, Attention, Research, Cues, Experiments, Memory, Models, Stimuli, Brain, Brain Hemisphere Functions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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