HIGH SELF-ESTEEM INCREASES SPONTANEOUS ATTENTION TO POSITIVE INFORMATION: AN EVENT-RELATED BRAIN POTENTIAL STUDY

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Abstract

By using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), the current study tested a hypothesis that high self-esteem increases spontaneous attention to positive information and influences negativity bias, defined as greater attention to negative information than positive information. Participants were asked to judge the pleasantness of positive and negative trait words infrequently presented in a sequence of neutral words. Compared to positive trait words, negative trait words elicited larger N2 amplitudes, thought to be elicited by a mismatch between the expectation and stimuli presented; this tendency was more extreme in individuals with a mindset associated with positive feelings and thinking, as measured by self-esteem, self-relatedness to positive trait words, and frequency of positive emotions in daily life. In contrast, no differences were found between the emotional words at the P3 amplitude, due to the set of stimuli being manipulated so that the emotional words were similar in arousal.<br>

Journal

  • PSYCHOLOGIA

    PSYCHOLOGIA 55(4), 269-279, 2012

    Psychologia Society

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