Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Positive and negative affect are often thought to influence the cognitive performance of individuals and groups via their effects on two different dimensions of cognitive processing style: heuristic vs. systematic processing, and global vs. local attentional focus. Recently, research has suggested that the effects of affective states on the analytic and creative performance of individuals depend on the relative dominance of heuristic vs. systematic processing (for analytic performance) and of a global vs. local attentional focus (for creative performance) just prior to the affect's arousal (Huntsinger, Isbell, & Clore, 2014; Huntsinger & Ray, 2016). Extending this individual-level evidence to small interacting groups, the two experiments reported here examined whether the effect of positive and negative affective states on group performance - decision-making (Study 1) and creative idea generation (Study 2) - depends on the relative dominance of heuristic vs. systematic processing (Study 1) and global vs. local attentional focus (Study 2) in group members just before the affective state was induced. Study 1 primed either heuristic or systematic processing and then induced either a happy or sad mood state (in that order). I hypothesized that when heuristic processing was initially primed, groups subsequently put into a sad mood would make more accurate decisions than groups subsequently put into a happy mood, while when systematic processing was initially primed, groups subsequently put into a happy mood would make more accurate decisions than groups subsequently put into a sad mood. Study 2 primed group members' global vs. local attentional focus and then induced either a happy or sad mood state (again, in that order). I hypothesized that when a global attentional focus was initially primed, groups subsequently put into a happy mood would be more creative than groups put into a sad mood, while when a local attentional focus was initially primed, groups subsequently put into a sad mood would be more creative than groups put into a happy mood. I found support for all of these hypotheses. Limitations and implications of the studies are discussed, and direction for future research are suggested.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS