ERIC Number: EJ942260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
An Attentional Application of Socioemotional Selectivity Theory in College Students
Pruzan, Katherine; Isaacowitz, Derek M.
Social Development, v15 n2 p326-338 May 2006
Socioemotional selectivity theory posits that emotions become increasingly salient as individuals approach endings. Recent findings have linked the theory with biases in information processing in the context of aging. However, these studies all confounded advancing age and the motivational impact of endings. This study represented an attempt to disentangle the effects of large age differences from those of endings on the processing of emotional information by investigating differences in attention to emotional stimuli between college seniors and college first-years. Seniors represented a group approaching the social ending of graduation from college and first-years served as a comparison group not facing an ending. Following recent findings in the literature on aging, it was hypothesized that seniors would selectively avoid negative images in an effort to better regulate their emotions in the face of this social ending. First-years were found to spend a significantly larger portion of their time viewing sad faces than did seniors. Seniors also exhibited significantly higher levels of positive affect than did first-years. These findings are discussed within the context of emotion regulation in the face of impending endings across the lifespan.
Descriptors: College Seniors, Emotional Response, Age Differences, Cognitive Processes, College Freshmen, Attention, Aging (Individuals), Psychological Patterns, Emotional Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A