Upbeat and happy: Arousal as an important factor in studying attention
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The present study examined the effects of music-induced mood changes on different components of visual attention. Affective valence (positive vs. negative) and arousal (high vs. low) were manipulated by having participants listen to one of four versions of a Mozart Sonata that varied in mode (major or minor) and tempo (fast or slow). Attention was measured in three domains-alerting, orienting, and executive control. Affective valence and arousal had an effect on executive control, but not on alerting or orienting. Individuals who experienced positive valence had less efficient control over their responses than those who experienced negative valence, but only when arousal levels were high. Positive and negative valence did not influence executive control measures when arousal levels were low. These findings demonstrate that affective valence and arousal interact with one another to influence the processing of items in visual attention.
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