- How love and sex can influence recognition of faces and words: a processing model account
- European Journal of Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 40 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
A link between romantic love and face recognition and sexual desire and verbal recognition is suggested. When in love, people typically focus on a long-term perspective which enhances global perception, whereas when experiencing sexual encounters they focus on the present which enhances a perception of details. Because people automatically activate these processing styles when in love or sex, subtle reminders of love versus sex should suffice to change ways of perception.
Global processing should further enhance face recognition, whereas local processing should enhance recognition of verbal information. In two studies participants were primed with concepts and thoughts of love versus sex. Compared to control groups, recognition of verbal material was enhanced after sex priming, whereas face recognition was enhanced
after love priming. In Experiment 2 it was demonstrated that differences in global versus local perception mediated these effects. However, there was no indication for mood as a mediator.
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