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The Mediating Role of Cognitive Flexibility in the Link between Broadened Attentional Scope and Positive Changes in Mood

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dc.contributor.advisor Compton, Rebecca J. (Rebecca Jean)
dc.contributor.author Martin, Shawn
dc.date.accessioned 2019-04-07T23:48:29Z
dc.date.available 2019-04-07T23:48:29Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/20787
dc.description.abstract The present study sought to investigate the link between broadened attentional scope and positive changes in mood reported in recent studies (e.g., Gu et al., 2017) and stemming more generally from Broaden and Build Theory (Fredrickson, 1998; 2001). It was hypothesized that the cognitive construct that mediates this relationship is cognitive flexibility. Participants (n =66) from Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges viewed a sad film clip aimed at temporarily depressing mood, then completed the abbreviated profile of mood states (“A-POMS”) (Grove and Prapavessis, 1992) to assess mood. Participants were then split into two groups to undergo a priming exercise aimed at temporarily influencing either a broadened or narrowed scope of attention by viewing zooming out or zooming in images of neutral content selected from IAPS (CSEA-NIMH, 1999). Cognitive flexibility was then measured using the Water Jar Task (“WJT”) (Greenberg, Reiner, and Meiran (2012) and mood was reassessed a second time using the A-POMS. Eye-tracking equipment was used during the attentional manipulation to confirm its effectiveness and to more closely link gaze-patterns with the dependent variables. It was predicted that the participants in the broadened attention group would display greater cognitive flexibility and a greater decrease in mood disturbance during the experiment. The results were primarily unsupportive of the hypotheses and cast doubt on the certainty of earlier findings and on the validity of the tests used in the present study.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.title The Mediating Role of Cognitive Flexibility in the Link between Broadened Attentional Scope and Positive Changes in Mood
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access


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