The Other End of the Line: Motivational Direction is Not Associated with Line-Bisection Bias

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The two hemispheres of the human brain are asymmetrically involved in representing a person’s motivational orientation: Approach motivation is reflected in greater activation of the left hemisphere, whereas avoidance motivation more strongly activates the right hemisphere. Visuospatial bias, as assessed in the line-bisection task, is often used as a simple behavioral measure of relative hemispheric activation. In three experiments, we investigated whether affect-induced approach and avoidance motivation are associated with spatial biases in line-bisection performance. Happy or terrifying pictures (Experiment 1, N = 70), happy or sad music (Experiment 2, N = 50), and joyful or frightening videos (Experiment 3, N = 90) were used to induce negative and positive affect. Mood-induction procedures successfully changed emotional states in the intended direction. However, our analyses revealed no effect of mood on visuospatial biases in the line-bisection task. Additional Bayesian analyses also provided more evidence against the hypothesized effect than in favor of it. Thus, visuospatial bias in line bisection does not seem to be a sensitive measure of approach and avoidance motivation induced by positive and negative affect.
OriginalspracheEnglisch
ZeitschriftSwiss Journal of Psychology
Jahrgang79
Heft1
Seiten (von - bis)5-14
Seitenumfang10
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020

ID: 5195899

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