The effects of mood state and emotional content on the deviant sound effect
Russell, Liberty Valentine
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Research surrounding auditory distraction has led to reports of a new effect; the effect a deviant word has in an otherwise repeated sequence (Escera, Alho, Winkler & Naatanen, 1998). Past studies have looked into this deviance effect and have provided cognitive and neurological reasoning for it (Hughes, 2014; Nostl, 2015). However, research regarding the emotional content of the deviant word, as well as the emotional state of an individual have not been researched, even though both variables are known to have an effect on distraction and an interaction (Buchner, Rothermund, Wentura & Mehl, 2004; Jensen, 1965). Therefore, leading to this research which aims to explore the relationship behind emotion and the effect of deviant words. The study hypothesises that the Positive mood condition will do the worst, Negative second worst, the positive mood will be most distracted by positive deviant words, the negative mood condition will be most affected by negative deviant words, and that neutral words and the quiet control will produce the best scores. The study used 45 participants which were separated into three initial conditions; negative, positive and neutral mood states. This was done twice however, once using participants scores on a mood questionnaire, and once by the music mood condition they were placed in; where the mood was induced using different styles of music (Rigg, 1940). The participants then carried out a serial recall task with forty tasks comprising of ten tasks with irrelevant speech, ten with a negative deviant word, ten with a positive deviant word and ten acted as a quiet control. The serial recall task displayed a single digit (1-9) this was then repeated 9 times for each task, after which the participant was given 30 seconds to write down the answers they could remember in order. The study found no significant three way interactions (F(48)=1.032, MSE=0.017, η²=0.047, p>0.05) and failed to support any of the hypotheses surrounding the deviant effect, and surprisingly showed the opposite to expected as the quiet condition often provided the worst results and the deviant provided some of the best. Overall, more research needs to be carried out proper measures towards counterbalancing need to be considered, as they were not in this study, implications and the use for further research is discussed.
BSc (Hons) Psychology
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