A facilitative effect of negative affective valence on working memory
2010 (English)In: SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, ISSN 0036-5564, Vol. 51, no 3, 185-191 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Previous studies have shown that negatively valenced information impaired working memory performance due to an attention-capturing effect. The present study examined whether negative valence could also facilitate working memory. Affective words (negative, neutral, positive) were used as retro-cues in a working memory task that required participants to remember colors at different spatial locations on a computer screen. Following the cue, a target detection task was used to either shift attention to a different location or keep attention at the same location as the retro-cue. Finally, participants were required to discriminate the cued color from a set of distractors. It was found that negative cues yielded shorter response times (RTs) in the attention-shift condition and longer RTs in the attention-stay condition, compared with neutral and positive cues. The results suggest that negative affective valence may enhance working memory performance (RTs), provided that attention can be disengaged.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing Ltd , 2010. Vol. 51, no 3, 185-191 p.
Working memory, attention-capturing, affective valence
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56676DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2009.00766.xISI: 000277628500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-56676DiVA: diva2:321245