The Effects of Emotions

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This short study seeks to find out how the positive affect facilitates creative cognitive processes. After shortly introducing the subject it centres on Isen et al's 1987 experiments Duncker's (1945) candle problem.


Mild induced mood states, commonly known as emotions, can affect cognitive processes like attention (Mischel, Ebbesen, and Zeiss, 1973), memory retrieval (Isen, Shalker, Clark and Carp, 1978), evaluative and judgemental processes (Isen and Shalker, 1982) and decision-making under both certainty (Isen and Means, 1983) and risk (Isen, Means, Patrick and Nowicki, 1982) (Mike Oaksford, 1996). This study looks into how such mild induced moods, particularly positive emotions, affect the cognitive process of decision-making, particularly creative or 'divergent' cognitive processes. It particularly focuses on the work of Isen et al (1987) on this.

The main construct of this study is Isen et al's comparative study of 4 groups subjected to Duncker's (1945) candle problem. In their experiment 2 a group was subjected to a short comedy clip to induce a positive mood state in them. A control group was subjected to a neutral film clip to control for a positive film effect - that is, the possibility of any effects observed for the experimental conditions that were due to the film and not to the induced mood states. A second control group was not subjected to any films so that no induction of an affective state would act as further control for the film effect. ...
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