Take a closer look: emotion modifies the boundary extension effect

Mathews, Andrew and Mackintosh, Bundy (2004). Take a closer look: emotion modifies the boundary extension effect. Emotion, 4(1) pp. 36–45.

URL: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/emo/index.aspx


Evidence has accumulated showing that central aspects of negative emotional scenes are remembered better than equivalent aspects of nonemotional scenes. Previous work, and an attentional account of these findings, led the authors to predict that anxiety-prone individuals would remember extremely negative emotional pictures as if seen from a closer perspective (i.e., with a less extended background) than other pictures. Findings showed that boundary extension was indeed reduced in high-trait-anxious individuals for very negative scenes, and this was more generally true for arousing scenes, with the exception of those with positive content. These findings are taken to be support for the view that attending to central aspects of emotionally arousing scenes can restrict the usual extended impression of surrounding space.

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