“To err is human”: The effects of anxiety and contextual emotion on error-related negativity

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“To err is human”: The effects of anxiety and contextual emotion on error-related negativity

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Title: “To err is human”: The effects of anxiety and contextual emotion on error-related negativity
Author: Nelson, Tess
Advisor: Compton, Rebecca
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 189075 bytes
Issue Date: 2007
Abstract: This study tested the possibility of an emotion-specific influence on error-related negativity (ERN), a physiological response to error commission. The ERN is thought to reflect an expectancy violation, triggered by negative feedback. Our study tested whether the expectancies underlying the ERN are influenced by the emotional context of the error, and whether anxiety increases sensitivity to contextual emotion, thus influencing the ERN. In a trial and error learning task, in which subjects matched specific keys with individuals of varying emotion expressions, we expected that subjects would produce bigger ERN values on happy face trials than angry, and that anxious subjects would show this effect to a greater degree. Contrary to predictions, no effect of emotion or anxiety on ERN amplitude was found. Instead, anxiety-related and emotion-related effects were present only in response to feedback that was not the primary indication of actual performance. We discuss the possible implication that anxious individuals may devote more resources to the processing of irrelevant, negative emotional information, leading to inefficient and possibly maladaptive error-monitoring.
Subject: Errors
Subject: Anxiety
Subject: Emotions
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1016

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Citation

Nelson, Tess. "“To err is human”: The effects of anxiety and contextual emotion on error-related negativity". 2007. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/1016.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/