Impact of negative priming on reaction time

Published online Mar A Phenomenon of Perception, Recognition or Selection? Received Sep 21; Accepted Feb 2. Copyright Schrobsdorff et al.

Impact of negative priming on reaction time

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Abstract The Simon effect refers to the phenomenon that reaction time RT is faster when stimulus and response location are congruent than when they are not.

This study used the priming-target paradigm to explore the influence of induced negative emotion on the Simon effect with event-related potential techniques ERPs. The priming stimuli were composed of two kinds of pictures, the negative and neutral pictures, selected from the International Affective Picture System IAPS.

The target stimuli included chessboards of two color types. One was red and black the other one was green and black. Each chessboard was presented on the left or the right of the screen. The participants were asked to press the response keys according to the colors of the chessboards.

It was called the congruent condition if the chessboard and the response key were on the same side, otherwise incongruent condition. In this study, the emotion-priming Simon effect was found in terms of RT and P Negative emotion compared with neutral emotion significantly enhanced the Simon effect in the cognitive process, reflected by a larger difference of P latency between the incongruent and congruent trials.

The results suggest that the induced negative emotion influenced the Simon effect at the late stage of the cognitive process, and the P latency could be considered as the reference measure. These findings may be beneficial to researches in psychology and industrial engineering in the future. Introduction The Simon effect, a classical action mechanism, plays an important role in human action control.

It may be used to measure the operational performance in manufacturing industries. In everyday life or in industrial operations, efficiency is more likely to be reduced and the severe accidents were more likely to happen for the operators in conditions that involve stimulus-response incompatibility [ 12 ].

The classical Simon effect refers to the finding that the reaction time is slower when the stimulus and response locations are incongruent than when they are congruent [ 3 — 5 ]. De Jong et al. It states that there are two separate routes with different functions from perception to action. In the intentional conditional route, the correct response is purposely selected.

While in the automatic unconditional route, the response ipsilateral to the target stimulus is automatically activated. When the locations of stimulus and response are congruent, the same response is automatically activated through the unconditional route and selected through the conditional route.

Therefore, RT is fast. In contrast, when the locations of stimulus and response are incongruent, RT is slow because the ipsilateral response of stimulus is firstly activated by the unconditional route and then the correct response will be executed through the conditional route.

The theory concludes that the Simon effect resulted from the spatial conflict and interference in cognitive process [ 89 ]. Emotion has a global effect on the cognitive process [ 10 ]. De Houwer and Eelen [ 11 ] introduced an affective Simon task in which participants were asked to respond to emotion-laden words e.

They found a congruency effect that the reaction time was shorter when word valence matched the response e. Altarriba and Basnight-Brown [ 12 ] found that only negative emotion words produced the congruency effect when the emotion-laden words were replaced with emotion words e. However, in these studies, the stimulus and the response are affectively related, rather than spatially.

Impact of negative priming on reaction time

The spatial relevance has been focused on by classical Simon effect [ 11 ], while the impact of emotion on the classical spatial Simon effect is still unclear. When presenting irrelevant emotional and neutral stimuli before a simple cognitive task, researchers usually find slower response in conditions that are preceded by emotional stimuli compared to conditions preceded by neutral stimuli [ 1314 ].

This emotional interference is attributed to the preferential processing of emotional information [ 1516 ] and the resources competing when stimuli are in the same sensory modality [ 17 — 19 ].

In particular, people seem to be more sensitive to negative emotions which occupy more cognitive resources [ 2021 ]. Thus, we supposed that the classical Simon effect which results from the spatial conflict and interference in cognitive process may be influenced by induced negative emotions.

Event-related potential ERP with high temporal resolution is an important measure of perceptual and cognitive processes to the stimuli [ 24 ].Negative priming is an implicit memory effect in which prior exposure to a stimulus unfavorably influences the response to the same stimulus.

It falls under the category of priming, which refers to the change in the response towards a stimulus due to a subconscious memory effect. Negative priming describes the slow and error-prone reaction .

Reaction time in neutral condition is lower compared to reaction time in negative priming condition, finding which does not support the hypothesis.

One weakness of this research is the possible presence of confounding variables. The dependency of the negative priming effect size on the reaction time level found in the reaction time analysis as well as in the ERP analysis is consistent with both the inhibition as well as the episodic retrieval account of negative priming.

Responding to a stimulus that had to be ignored previously is usually slowed-down (negative priming effect). This study investigates the reaction time and ERP effects of the negative priming phenomenon in the auditory domain.

Implicit reaction time tests (IRTs) are one of the fastest growing approaches in market research.

Impact of negative priming on reaction time

Online, objective and cost-effective, they capture consumers’ immediate, gut instinct or subconscious responses to brands, campaigns, new product concepts, packaging designs and a vast array of other marketing related outputs. However, one rationale is that a participant's reaction time to target-related stimuli may be influenced by both the priming of a specific concept, and also that participant's reaction time to stimuli in general, leading to a ‘false positive’.

Everything you need to know about Implicit Reaction Time (IRTs) - Dr Gemma Calvert