- Looking at the bright side: the affective monitoring of direction
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The monitoring of internal functioning and information processing can evoke affect, even when only affectively neutral stimuli are processed. Smooth functioning induces positive affect, whereas difficulties and interruptions lead to negative affect. In 2 studies, the authors investigated explicit and implicit affect induced by simple arrows pointing to either the left or the right. The authors expected that attentional shifts due to the arrows would be performed more easily in the reading direction, and lead to more positive affect, than shifts in the opposite direction. In Experiment 1, Dutch left-to-right readers subjectively rated arrows to the right much more positively than arrows to the left. In Experiment 2, an arrow pointing right speeded arm flexion (i.e., approach), whereas an arrow pointing left facilitated arm extension (i.e., avoidance), indicating strong implicit affective influences of the arrows. If affective monitoring indeed represents a basic mechanism for implicit affect elicitation, affect no longer needs to be analyzed exclusively in terms of conscious experience.
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