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

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Abstract

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.

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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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