Different emotional states have been implicated in bringing about specific changes in attention, with positive emotions globalizing attention and negative emotions localizing attention (Fredrickson, 2004). Biases in attentional processes have been associated with the development and maintenance of emotional disorders, anxiety being the most common. Previous studies have shown that anxious individuals present with a bias toward negative information and more readily employ localized attentional processes (Macleod, 2002). This finding demonstrated a link between perceptual levels of attention with higher order conceptual attention, which in turn influences emotional states. Many researchers have explored this relationship, including Fredrickson (2004), who developed the Broaden-and-Build hypothesis, demonstrating how positive mood broadens attentional, increases thought-action repertoires and creativity. However, other studies have presented different findings, with positive emotion allowing for both global and local attentional scopes (Baumann & Kuhl, 2002). The main aim of the study was to demonstrate how specific emotions, specifically fear and amusement, bring about perceptual level shifts in attention (global vs. local). The primary hypothesis is that fear will lead to more localized perceptual attention and that positive emotions like amusement will lead to more globalized perceptual attention.
School of Behavioral Health
Haerich, Paul E.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Emotions and Cognition; Attention - Physiological Aspects; Human Information Processing; Visual Perception; Visual Evoked Response; Information Theory in Psychology
Subject - Local
Emotional State; Emotional Disorders; Anxiety; Attentional Processes; Thought-Action Repertoires; Fear; Amusement
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This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Terzyan, Seda, "Changes in Emotion Drive Perceptual Level Shifts: Global vs. Local Processing" (2014). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 233.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives