Event Title

The Role of Positive Affect and Grit in Broadening Cognition

Presenter Information

Lauren M. MutignaniFollow

Location

Edwards 106

Document Type

Oral/PowerPoint Presentation (10 minutes and 5 minute Q and A)

Description

Experiences of positive emotion have been shown to broaden cognitive thinking, creativity, and problem solving. This study examines two moderating variables in the relationship between positive emotions and broadened cognitions. First, this study examines scores of positive affect as a personality attribute which may influence an individual’s reception of positive emotions. Second, this study examines grit as a variable that could improve creative problem solving skills in a psychological state broadened by positive priming. These moderating variables feature in the two hypotheses of this study, namely, that high levels of positive affect will improve task performance with and without the presence of a prior positive stimulus, and that high grit levels will predict improved creative task performance in the presence of prior positive priming. Two hundred participants will be prescreened for high or low positive affect and grit and then randomly assigned to one of two conditions. One condition exposes participants to a neutral film and the other to a film clip eliciting positive emotion. Participants in both conditions will then complete a creative cognitive task. This study predicts that high positive affect levels will decrease problem solving task time in both the positive priming condition and the neutral condition. This study also predicts high levels of grit will decrease problem solving time in the positive priming condition only. Understanding the underlying dynamics of this relationship is critical to psychology’s understanding of optimal cognitive functioning, productivity, and happiness.

Start Date

April 2014

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Apr 26th, 10:30 AM

The Role of Positive Affect and Grit in Broadening Cognition

Edwards 106

Experiences of positive emotion have been shown to broaden cognitive thinking, creativity, and problem solving. This study examines two moderating variables in the relationship between positive emotions and broadened cognitions. First, this study examines scores of positive affect as a personality attribute which may influence an individual’s reception of positive emotions. Second, this study examines grit as a variable that could improve creative problem solving skills in a psychological state broadened by positive priming. These moderating variables feature in the two hypotheses of this study, namely, that high levels of positive affect will improve task performance with and without the presence of a prior positive stimulus, and that high grit levels will predict improved creative task performance in the presence of prior positive priming. Two hundred participants will be prescreened for high or low positive affect and grit and then randomly assigned to one of two conditions. One condition exposes participants to a neutral film and the other to a film clip eliciting positive emotion. Participants in both conditions will then complete a creative cognitive task. This study predicts that high positive affect levels will decrease problem solving task time in both the positive priming condition and the neutral condition. This study also predicts high levels of grit will decrease problem solving time in the positive priming condition only. Understanding the underlying dynamics of this relationship is critical to psychology’s understanding of optimal cognitive functioning, productivity, and happiness.