Why smoggy days suppress our mood: Automatic association between clarity and valence

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The intuition of clarity-valence association seems to be pervasive in daily life, however, whether there exists a potential association between clarity (i.e., operationalized as visual resolution) and affect in human cognition remains unknown. The present study conducted five experiments, and demonstrated the clarity-valence congruency effect, that is, the evaluations showed performance advantage in the congruent conditions (clear-positive, blurry-negative). Experiments 1 through 3 demonstrated the influence of the perception of clarity on the conceptualization of affective valence, while Experiments 4 and 5 verified the absence of the influence of conceptualization on perception, thus the unidirectionality of clarity-valence association in cognition is confirmed. The findings extend the affective perceptual-conceptual associations into the dimension of clarity, thus providing support for the ideas of embodied cognition as well as implications for our preference for clarity and aversion to blur.




Liu, Y., Yin, J., & Liang, J. (2019). Why smoggy days suppress our mood: Automatic association between clarity and valence. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(JULY). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01580

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