Can positive affect induce self-focused attention? Methodological and measurement issues.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Some studies find that positive affect can induce self-focused attention, but other studies find no effect. We suggest that the contrary findings result from how self- awareness was measured. One group of participants listened to happy or neutral music; another group imagined and described a happy or neutral event. Two measures of self-focus were then taken. The experiment replicated past findings: Positive affect increased self-focus on a pronoun selection task, but had no effect on a modified private self-consciousness scale. The results were slightly stronger when affect was induced using music. Implications for future research are discussed. Emotional experience has been closely tied to self-awareness since Duval and Wicklund’s (1972) original statement of objective self-awareness theory. Research has explored the influence of self-focus and self-standard discrepancies on emotion (Ickes, Wicklund, & Ferris, 1973), the effects of self-awareness on emotional intensity (Scheier &Carver, 1977; Silvia, 2002, in press), self-perceptions of emotional states (Silvia & Gendolla, 2001), the role of self-focus in dysfunctional affective experiences (Wells &Matthews, 1994), and the impact of affect on self-evaluation (Berkowitz, 1987; Salovey & Rodin, 1985).

Additional Information

Cognition and Emotion, 16, 845-853
Language: English
Date: 2006
Positive affect, Self-focused attention

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