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The 'Positive Effect' is present in older Chinese adults: evidence from an eye tracking study.

Wang J, He L, Jia L, Tian J, Benson V - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The 'Positive Effect' is found for older people compared with younger people in western societies and is believed to reflect a preference for positive emotional regulation in older adults.It is not known whether such an effect is Universal, and in East Asian cultures, there is a highly controversial debate concerning this question.In the current experiment we explored whether Chinese older participants showed a 'Positive Effect' when they inspected picture pairs that were either a positive or a negative picture presented with a neutral picture, or a positive and negative picture paired together.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Academy of Psychology and Behaviour, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin, China.

ABSTRACT
The 'Positive Effect' is defined as the phenomenon of preferential cognitive processing of positive affective information, and avoidance or dismissal of negative affective information in the social environment. The 'Positive Effect' is found for older people compared with younger people in western societies and is believed to reflect a preference for positive emotional regulation in older adults. It is not known whether such an effect is Universal, and in East Asian cultures, there is a highly controversial debate concerning this question. In the current experiment we explored whether Chinese older participants showed a 'Positive Effect' when they inspected picture pairs that were either a positive or a negative picture presented with a neutral picture, or a positive and negative picture paired together. The results indicated that both groups of participants showed an attentional bias to both pleasant (more processing of) and unpleasant pictures (initial orienting to) when these were paired with neutral pictures. When pleasant and unpleasant pictures were paired together both groups showed an initial orientation bias for the pleasant picture, but the older participants showed this bias for initial orienting and increased processing measures, providing evidence of a 'Positive Effect' in older Chinese adults.

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A schematic of the trial sequence.
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pone.0121372.g001: A schematic of the trial sequence.

Mentions: An instruction sheet was given to participants that described what would happen in the experiment before the eye tracker was set up. A 9-point calibration procedure was then performed (with a requirement of maximum error of 0.05 degree of visual angle), followed by 8 practice trials and 42 experimental trials in each of two blocks. Fig 1 shows a schematic of the trial sequence. At the beginning of each trial, a “+” appeared at the centre of the screen for 1000ms, participants were asked to keep their eyes on the “+”. If the eyes deviated from the centre of the cross a recalibration was performed. The single “+” was followed by the presentation of two pictures (a pleasant, or an unpleasant picture paired with a neutral picture, or a pleasant paired with an unpleasant picture) on the screen, one on the left and the other on the right of the “+” and participants were instructed to look at the pictures. On one third of the trials participants had to indicate, using a button press, which of the two pictures was more pleasant. This manipulation was used to make sure that participants focused on the experiment and looked at both pictures during each trial. There was an interval of 1000ms between each trial. The same pictures were used in both blocks, but the two pictures that made up each trial display were reversed horizontally for block 2, and the whole experiment lasted about 20 minutes.


The 'Positive Effect' is present in older Chinese adults: evidence from an eye tracking study.

Wang J, He L, Jia L, Tian J, Benson V - PLoS ONE (2015)

A schematic of the trial sequence.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4400038&req=5

pone.0121372.g001: A schematic of the trial sequence.
Mentions: An instruction sheet was given to participants that described what would happen in the experiment before the eye tracker was set up. A 9-point calibration procedure was then performed (with a requirement of maximum error of 0.05 degree of visual angle), followed by 8 practice trials and 42 experimental trials in each of two blocks. Fig 1 shows a schematic of the trial sequence. At the beginning of each trial, a “+” appeared at the centre of the screen for 1000ms, participants were asked to keep their eyes on the “+”. If the eyes deviated from the centre of the cross a recalibration was performed. The single “+” was followed by the presentation of two pictures (a pleasant, or an unpleasant picture paired with a neutral picture, or a pleasant paired with an unpleasant picture) on the screen, one on the left and the other on the right of the “+” and participants were instructed to look at the pictures. On one third of the trials participants had to indicate, using a button press, which of the two pictures was more pleasant. This manipulation was used to make sure that participants focused on the experiment and looked at both pictures during each trial. There was an interval of 1000ms between each trial. The same pictures were used in both blocks, but the two pictures that made up each trial display were reversed horizontally for block 2, and the whole experiment lasted about 20 minutes.

Bottom Line: The 'Positive Effect' is found for older people compared with younger people in western societies and is believed to reflect a preference for positive emotional regulation in older adults.It is not known whether such an effect is Universal, and in East Asian cultures, there is a highly controversial debate concerning this question.In the current experiment we explored whether Chinese older participants showed a 'Positive Effect' when they inspected picture pairs that were either a positive or a negative picture presented with a neutral picture, or a positive and negative picture paired together.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Academy of Psychology and Behaviour, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin, China.

ABSTRACT
The 'Positive Effect' is defined as the phenomenon of preferential cognitive processing of positive affective information, and avoidance or dismissal of negative affective information in the social environment. The 'Positive Effect' is found for older people compared with younger people in western societies and is believed to reflect a preference for positive emotional regulation in older adults. It is not known whether such an effect is Universal, and in East Asian cultures, there is a highly controversial debate concerning this question. In the current experiment we explored whether Chinese older participants showed a 'Positive Effect' when they inspected picture pairs that were either a positive or a negative picture presented with a neutral picture, or a positive and negative picture paired together. The results indicated that both groups of participants showed an attentional bias to both pleasant (more processing of) and unpleasant pictures (initial orienting to) when these were paired with neutral pictures. When pleasant and unpleasant pictures were paired together both groups showed an initial orientation bias for the pleasant picture, but the older participants showed this bias for initial orienting and increased processing measures, providing evidence of a 'Positive Effect' in older Chinese adults.

Show MeSH