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01-09-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2015

Psychological Research 5/2015

Mood states influence cognitive control: the case of conflict adaptation

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 5/2015
Auteurs:
Stefanie Schuch, Iring Koch

Abstract

Conflict adaptation can be measured by the “congruency sequence effect”, denoting the reduction of congruency effects after incongruent trials (where response conflict occurs) relative to congruent trials (without response conflict). Recently, it has been reported that conflict adaptation is larger in negative mood than in positive mood (van Steenbergen et al., Psychological Science 21:1629–1634, 2010). We conducted two experiments further investigating this important finding. Two different interference paradigms were applied to measure conflict adaptation: Experiment 1 was a Flanker task, Experiment 2 was a Stroop-like task. To get as pure a measure of conflict adaptation as possible, we minimized the influence of trial-to-trial priming effects by excluding all kinds of stimulus repetitions. Mood states were induced by presenting film clips with emotional content prior to the interference task. Three mood states were manipulated between subjects: amused, anxious, and sad. Across both interference paradigms, we consistently found conflict adaptation in negative, but not in positive mood. Taken together with van Steenbergen et al. (Psychological Science 21:1629–1634, 2010) findings, the results suggest that the negative-mood-triggered increase in conflict adaptation is a general phenomenon that occurs independently of the particular mood-induction procedure and interference paradigm involved.

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