May 2008
Volume 8, Issue 6
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Predispositions to approach and avoid are contextually sensitive and goal dependent
Author Affiliations
  • Susan Bamford
    School of Psychology, Bangor University
  • Robert Ward
    School of Psychology, Bangor University
Journal of Vision May 2008, Vol.8, 611. doi:10.1167/8.6.611
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      Susan Bamford, Robert Ward; Predispositions to approach and avoid are contextually sensitive and goal dependent. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):611. doi: 10.1167/8.6.611.

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Abstract

We show that predispositions to approach and avoid do not consist simply of specific motor patterns but are more abstract functions that produce a desired environmental effect. It has been claimed that evaluating a visual stimulus as positive or negative evokes a specific motor response, extending the arm to negative stimuli, and contracting to positive stimuli. We showed that a large congruency effect (participants were faster to approach pleasant and avoid unpleasant stimuli, than approach unpleasant and avoid pleasant stimuli) could be produced on a novel touchscreen paradigm (Experiment 1), and that the congruency effect could be reversed by spatial (Experiment 2), and non-spatial (Experiment 3), response effects. Thus, involuntary approach and avoid response activations are not fixed, but sensitive to context, and are specifically based on the desired goal.

Bamford, S. Ward, R. (2008). Predispositions to approach and avoid are contextually sensitive and goal dependent [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 8(6):611, 611a, http://journalofvision.org/8/6/611/, doi:10.1167/8.6.611. [CrossRef]
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