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Can the relationship between working memory and affect be moderated by reinforcement sensitivity? / Blaž Rebernjak, Andrea Vranić, Ivan Tomić, Mirjana Tonković.

By: Rebernjak, Blaž.
Contributor(s): Vranić, Andrea [aut] | Tomić, Ivan [aut] | Tonković, Mirjana psihologinja [aut].
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleDescription: .Other title: Can the relationship between working memory and affect be moderated by reinforcement sensitivity? [Naslov na engleskom:].Subject(s): 5.06 | Working memory; affective modality; indiidual differences | Working memory; affective modality; indiidual differences In: 19th Conference of the European Society for Cognitive PsychologyAbstract: Several recent studies have hinted at a relationship between working memory modality and positive/negative affect distinction. Gray (2001) demonstrated that positive affect can enhance verbal working memory and impair spatial working memory while negative affect can enhance spatial working memory and impair verbal working memory. Furthermore, Storbeck & Watson (2014) observed that completing a verbal or spatial working memory task can modify strategic and automatic reactions to positive and negative stimuli. Completing the verbal task prompted more positive endorsement of verbal and pictorial stimuli, while completing the spatial task prompted more negative endorsement of the same material. Since the link can be explained in terms of approach and avoidance motivation we tested the hypothesis that reinforcement sensitivity could moderate the observed effect. Using Carver & White’s (1994) BIS/BAS scale we divided the sample of 80 university students with respect to BIS and BAS medians. Using the method similar to that described by Storbeck & Watson (2014) we observed the effects of verbal and spatial working memory tasks on the endorsement of verbal stimuli with respect to the high and low BIS/BAS groups. The results are discussed in terms of motivational influences on working memory.
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Several recent studies have hinted at a relationship between working memory modality and positive/negative affect distinction. Gray (2001) demonstrated that positive affect can enhance verbal working memory and impair spatial working memory while negative affect can enhance spatial working memory and impair verbal working memory. Furthermore, Storbeck & Watson (2014) observed that completing a verbal or spatial working memory task can modify strategic and automatic reactions to positive and negative stimuli. Completing the verbal task prompted more positive endorsement of verbal and pictorial stimuli, while completing the spatial task prompted more negative endorsement of the same material. Since the link can be explained in terms of approach and avoidance motivation we tested the hypothesis that reinforcement sensitivity could moderate the observed effect. Using Carver & White’s (1994) BIS/BAS scale we divided the sample of 80 university students with respect to BIS and BAS medians. Using the method similar to that described by Storbeck & Watson (2014) we observed the effects of verbal and spatial working memory tasks on the endorsement of verbal stimuli with respect to the high and low BIS/BAS groups. The results are discussed in terms of motivational influences on working memory.

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