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, 21 (2), 211-5

The Blues Broaden, but the Nasty Narrows: Attentional Consequences of Negative Affects Low and High in Motivational Intensity

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The Blues Broaden, but the Nasty Narrows: Attentional Consequences of Negative Affects Low and High in Motivational Intensity

Philip Gable et al. Psychol Sci.

Abstract

Positive and negative affects high in motivational intensity cause a narrowing of attentional focus. In contrast, positive affects low in motivational intensity cause a broadening of attentional focus. The attentional consequences of negative affects low in motivational intensity have not been experimentally investigated. Experiment 1 compared the attentional consequences of negative affect low in motivational intensity (sadness) relative to a neutral affective state. Results indicated that low-motivation negative affect caused attentional broadening. Experiment 2 found that disgust, a high-motivation negative affect not previously investigated in attentional studies, narrowed attentional focus. These experiments support the conceptual model linking high-motivation affective states to narrowed attention and low-motivation affective states to broadened attention.

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