EFFECTS OF MOOD STATE AND AFFECTIVE INFORMATION ON VISUAL SELECTIVE ATTENTION

ROBERT LOUIS VILLANELLA, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of mood state and affective information on visual selective attention. The sample was composed of 110 students from undergraduate and graduate programs in teacher education, business, and social services. Mood state assessments based on the Elation vs. Depression Scale were obtained. Expectations regarding the influence of mood state on the type of affective information which is initially visually selectively attended were tested using separate chi-square analyses. Expectations regarding the influence of affective information on visual selective attention within a given mood state were tested using a series of t-tests which compared means for average fixation duration time.^ In both elated and depressed mood states there appeared to be no overall pattern with regard to the affective loading of the item as regards to the direction of the initial glance. Similarly, in both elated and depressed mood states the average fixation duration time did not vary differentially with respect to the affective loading of the item scanned. These findings suggested that a reading effect may have been in operation. Such an effect habituates individuals to initially look to the left and, subsequently, to scan to the right when attending visually to environmental stimuli. Orthographic structure appears to have operated in an automatic fashion in the experimental situation.^ Tendencies and trends pertaining to the possible interaction of mood state and reading effect were examined, consequently. Statistical results appeared to indicate that reading effect does not operate independently of affective loading of the item as it may or may not relate to the mood state of the percipient. Analyses of mean duration times for viewing left and right items reflected the expected influence of mood state on reading effect. Results from these analyses suggested that a generally more powerful reading effect was exerting a paradoxical influence on mood state effects with subjects in the present study.^ Experimental procedures utilized a visual selective attention model which permitted a distinction in time to an accuracy of 1/100th of a second as to when visual attention was focused and, subsequently, when affect and mood state began to impact on the processing of item pairs. Such procedures attempted to rectify limitations between selective attentionists and subliminal perceptionists. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

VILLANELLA, ROBERT LOUIS, "EFFECTS OF MOOD STATE AND AFFECTIVE INFORMATION ON VISUAL SELECTIVE ATTENTION" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8616830.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8616830

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