Tobin, S. J & Tidwell, J. (2013). The role of task difficulty and affect activation level in the use of affect as information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,49(2), 250-253. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2012.11.011
The current research examined task difficulty and affect activation level as factors that determine the relevance of affect as information in a performance context. Participants viewed a series of pictures designed to elicit an affective state that was high or low in activation and positive or negative in valence. They completed an easy or difficult anagram task and then rated their satisfaction with their performance. Analyses revealed that low activation affect was used as information for judging one's performance on the difficult task and high activation affect was used as information for judging one's performance on the easy task. In these cases, the valence of participants' affect influenced their judgments about their performance, such that positive affect resulted in greater satisfaction. These findings suggest that affective states with activation levels that match one's typical level of energy after a particular task are seen as more relevant for judging one's performance.
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