The mediational role of distracting stimuli in emotional word recognition


Psicol. Reflex. Crit.




Abstract Emotions are considered distractions that often prompt subsequent actions. In this way, the aim of this work was to examine the role of distracting stimuli on the relationship of RT and accuracy. In order to do that, a word recognition task was carried out in which emotional valence was manipulated. More precisely, a mediational model, testing how changes in distracting stimuli mediate RT predicting accuracy across emotional conditions, was carried out. The results suggest that changes in task demands should distract from the secondary task to the extent that these task demands implicate and affect accuracy. Moreover, the distracting task seems to mediate between accuracy and the target task under emotional stimuli, showing the negative distracting condition to be the most remarkable effect. Furthermore, neutral distracting latencies did not affect accuracy. Understanding the mechanisms by which emotion impairs cognitive functions has important implications in several fields, such as affective disorders. However, the effects of emotion on goal-directed cognitive processing remain unclear.

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