Neutral Words (neutral + word)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The effect of attentional training on body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction

Evelyn Smith
Abstract The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of attentional training towards shape, weight and food related information on body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction. A total of 98 female participants were trained to attend to negative shape/weight words, positive shape/weight words, negative (high calorie) food words, positive (low calorie) food words or neutral words. Subsequently, a body image challenge was presented and participants' body dissatisfaction and dietary restriction were measured. Results indicated that negative shape/weight attentional biases exacerbated body dissatisfaction and a bias towards negative food words intensified dietary restriction. The study provides evidence for specificity in the effects of attentional biases and supports the notion that attentional training may be a useful component in interventions to improve body image and reduce dieting. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. [source]

Personality and lexical decision times for evaluative words

Peter Borkenau
Abstract We studied personality influences on accessibility of pleasant and unpleasant stimuli in a sample of 129 students. Self-reports and reports by knowledgeable informants on extraversion, neuroticism, approach temperament and avoidance temperament were combined with a go/no-go lexical decision task that included pleasant, unpleasant and neutral words, and two response modes, manual and vocal. The data were analysed using multilevel modelling. Extraversion and approach temperament predicted faster identification of pleasant words than of neutral and of unpleasant words. Vocal responses took longer than manual responses, but mode of response did not interact with the valence of the words. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The cognitive consequences of emotion regulation: An ERP investigation

C.M. Deveney
Abstract Increasing evidence suggests that emotion regulation (ER) strategies modulate encoding of information presented during regulation; however, no studies have assessed the impact of cognitive reappraisal ER strategies on the processing of stimuli presented after the ER period. Participants in the present study regulated emotions to unpleasant pictures and then judged whether a word was negative or neutral. Electromyographic measures (corrugator supercilli) confirmed that individuals increased and decreased negative affect according to ER condition. Event-related potential analyses revealed smallest N400 amplitudes to negative and neutral words presented after decreasing unpleasant emotions and smallest P300 amplitudes to words presented after increasing unpleasant emotions whereas reaction time data failed to show ER modulations. Results are discussed in the context of the developing ER literature, as well as theories of emotional incongruity (N400) and resource allocation (P300). [source]

Specificity of regional brain activity in anxiety types during emotion processing

Anna S. Engels
Abstract The present study tested the hypothesis that anxious apprehension involves more left- than right-hemisphere activity and that anxious arousal is associated with the opposite pattern. Behavioral and fMRI responses to threat stimuli in an emotional Stroop task were examined in nonpatient groups reporting anxious apprehension, anxious arousal, or neither. Reaction times were longer for negative than for neutral words. As predicted, brain activation distinguished anxious groups in a left inferior frontal region associated with speech production and in a right-hemisphere inferior temporal area. Addressing a second hypothesis about left-frontal involvement in emotion, distinct left frontal regions were associated with anxious apprehension versus processing of positive information. Results support the proposed distinction between the two types of anxiety and resolve an inconsistency about the role of left-frontal activation in emotion and psychopathology. [source]

ERP indices of emotionality and semantic cohesiveness during recognition judgments

Heather E. Mcneely
Abstract Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to examine the impact of emotionality on false recognition. In Experiment 1, participants discriminated previously studied words from neutral and negatively valenced emotional foils. Emotional words elicited a more positive ERP than did neutral words and emotional foils were falsely recognized more often than neutral foils. In Experiment 2, the hypothesis that emotionality-based false recognition is due to the semantic cohesiveness of emotional words was tested by including a highly associated but emotionally neutral category (animals). It was emotional and not animal foils that elicited greater positivity in the ERP and increased false positive response. These data provide little support for semantic cohesiveness as the basis for false recognition effects, but are consistent with the view that the salience of emotional words can be falsely attributed to familiarity in the context of a recognition task. [source]

Stress and selective attention: The interplay of mood, cortisol levels, and emotional information processing

Mark A. Ellenbogen
The effects of a stressful challenge on the processing of emotional words were examined in college students. Stress induction was achieved using a competitive computer task, where the individual either repeatedly lost or won against a confederate. Mood, attention, and cortisol were recorded during the study. There were four findings: (1) Participants in the negative stressor condition were faster to shift attention away from negative words than positive or neutral words; (2) attentional shifts away from negative words were associated with stress-induced mood lowering; (3) participants in the negative stress condition with elevated scores on the Beck Depression Inventory were slow to disengage attention from all stimuli; and (4) elevated depression scores were associated with lower cortisol change from baseline during the experimental phase, and with higher cortisol levels during the recovery phase. These findings point to information-processing strategies as a means to regulate emotion, and to atypical features of cognitive and adrenocortical function that may serve as putative risk markers of depression. [source]

Masked fear words produce increased SCRs: An anomaly for Öhman's theory of pre-attentive processing in anxiety

M.A. van den Hout
A. Öhman and J.J.F. Soares (1994) demonstrated that masked presentation of phobic pictures produces increased skin conductance responses (SCRs) in phobic subjects. A. Öhman (1993) explained this phenomenon in terms of a hypothetical "feature detector" that identifies physical characteristics of stimuli and activates the arousal system without involving significance evaluation or consciousness. By exposing spider phobics to spider words, general threat words, and neutral words instead of pictures, this explanation was tested. Words were presented both masked and unmasked while electrodermal activity was measured. Under unmasked conditions, SCRs were largest for spider words followed by general threat words, then neutral words. When masked, the difference between spider words and general threat words disappeared but SCRs remained significantly smaller for neutral words. It is concluded that activation of the arousal system by masked threat cues does not necessarily depend on their perceptual characteristics. [source]

Inducing a Stroop Effect

Emmanuel M. Pothos
We examine the conditions that lead to Stroop interference for a meaningless linguistic label. Tiffany's cognitive model of drug abuse implies that individuals will respond more slowly to drug-related words compared to neutral words in an emotional Stroop task, because the former have many automatic associations (e.g. positive expectancies). To examine this proposal, we trained participants to associate a meaningless label with either one other word or several other words and examined the induced Stroop interference for these meaningless labels. In two experiments, and contrary to expectations from Tiffany's work, we observed greatest Stroop interference for the meaningless label with just one association. These results are discussed in terms of associative learning theory. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Acoustic, semantic and phonetic influences in spoken warning signal words

Judy Edworthy
Three experiments are reported which explore the relationship between semantic, acoustic and phonetic variables in the judgement of eight warning signal words. Experiment 1 shows that listeners can distinguish very clearly between urgent and non-urgent versions of the words when spoken by real speakers, and that some signal words such as ,deadly' and ,danger' score more highly than words such as ,attention' and ,don't'. It also shows that the three dimensions of perceived urgency, appropriateness and believability of these words are highly correlated. Experiment 2 replicates Experiment 1 using synthesized voices where acoustic variables are controlled. The semantic effects are replicated, and to some extent appropriateness and believability are found to function differently from that of perceived urgency. Experiment 3 compares the same set of eight signal words with a set of phonetically similar neutral words, showing that warning signal words are rated significantly higher, and largely maintain their previous rank ordering. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]