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Is there a real preferential detection of negative stimuli? A comment on Dijksterhuis and Aarts (2003)

By Christophe L. Labiouse

Abstract

In a recent article, Dijksterhuis and Aarts (2003) investigated the preferential detection of negative stimuli. According to them, their data clearly indicate that it requires less stimulus input or less stimulus exposure to detect a negative stimulus than to detect a positive stimulus. However, we believe their research suffers from a number of limitations and methodological flaws that cast doubt on their conclusions. Using signal detection analyses, we demonstrate that none of their three studies provides sufficiently informative data with respect to their hypotheses. Moreover, we show that their experimental designs seem to be inadequate to test their hypotheses

Topics: Psychophysics, Cognitive Psychology
Publisher: American Psychological Society
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:3631
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    Citations

    1. (1991). Detection theory: A user’s guide. New York:
    2. (2003). On wildebeests and humans: The preferential detection of negative stimuli.
    3. (1986). Semantic activation without conscious identification in dichotic listening, parafoveal vision, and visual masking: A survey and appraisal.

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