Article: article from journal or magazin.
Hemispheric processing of differently valenced and self-relevant attachment words in middle-aged married and separated individuals
The reliance in experimental psychology on testing undergraduate populations with relatively little life experience, and/or ambiguously valenced stimuli with varying degrees of self-relevance, may have contributed to inconsistent findings in the literature on the valence hypothesis. To control for these potential limitations, the current study assessed lateralised lexical decisions for positive and negative attachment words in 40 middle-aged male and female participants. Self-relevance was manipulated in two ways: by testing currently married compared with previously married individuals and by assessing self-relevance ratings individually for each word. Results replicated a left hemisphere advantage for lexical decisions and a processing advantage of emotional over neutral words but did not support the valence hypothesis. Positive attachment words yielded a processing advantage over neutral words in the right hemisphere, while emotional words (irrespective of valence) yielded a processing advantage over neutral words in the left hemisphere. Both self-relevance manipulations were unrelated to lateralised performance. The role of participant sex and age in emotion processing are discussed as potential modulators of the present findings.
Adult attachment, Laterality, Valence hypothesis, Hemispheric asymmetry, Ageing, Emotion processing, Self-relevance
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