ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 736-746.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00736

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The influence mechanism of emotion on intuitive and analytical processing

YE Shuqi, YIN Junting, LI Zhaoxian, LUO Junlong()   

  1. Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
  • Received:2022-06-18 Online:2023-05-15 Published:2023-02-13
  • Contact: LUO Junlong


Dual process generally refers to intuitive processing and analytical processing. Given the progress in transformation and collaboration mechanisms of dual process, emotion has gradually become the key variable for influencing the dual process. It is clearly pointed out that emotion is closely related to intuitive processing (Type 1) in dual process theory, which does not need cognitive efforts, but many empirical findings have shown that emotion also has a significant impact on analytical processing (Type 2). However, how emotions affect intuitive and analytical processing remains controversial in related studies. Relevant researches mainly focus on the influence of emotion on the single pathway of Type 1 processing or Type 2 processing, while the comprehensive influences of emotion on dual processes are rarely studied, these researches only are carried out at the superficial level, less dig deep into the differences of cognitive processing mechanism. In addition, different perspectives have resulted in the obscurity of emotions' function. Therefore, it is important to clarify the mechanism of emotion influencing on dual-processing from the perspectives of emotional valence and emotional arousal. The results show that positive emotions and emotions with high arousal tend to promote intuitive processing, while negative emotions with low arousal prefer to adopt analytical processing, but it will be affected by knowledge and experience, surface information, task characteristics and processing conditions. Consequently, emotions with different valence and arousal also have different impacts on processing. Positive emotions or negative emotions with high arousal can promote Type 1 processing, while negative emotions with low arousal will lead to Type 2 processing. In addition, a dual processing model which helps us make clear of thread about emotion influences, is used to explain the mechanism of emotional influence on dual processing. Type 1 and Type 2 are regarded as two relatively independent and successive processing stages in this model. In the startup phase of cognitive processing, positive emotions will broaden one’s attention, which means an increase in available information cues and enable individuals to retrieve information faster, thus facilitates Type 1 processing, individuals in high affective arousal will be directed attention by highly relevant information and reduce the attention to irrelevant information, thus tend to choose Type 1 processing, while negative emotions will narrow attention, which let the individuals pay more attention to the detailed information instead of the main information and let them consume more cognitive resources in Type 2 processing. In the Type 2 processing intervention stage, on the one hand, motivation is the individuals' subjective condition of whether to enter the Type 2 processing stage. The motivation to maintain positive emotions will trigger Type 1 processing that takes less cognitive effort, while the motivation to improve negative emotions will make the individual invest more cognitive resources in Type 2 processing. The individuals will choose the appropriate arousal level for the motivation of maintaining the current positive emotion and repairing negative emotion. On the other hand, cognitive resources are the individuals' objective condition of Type 2 processing, which are needed in Type 2 processing. Cognitive resources are also the core part of cognitive load theory, which includes intrinsic cognitive load, extraneous cognitive load and germane cognitive load. Emotions can be used as the three kinds of load to directly allocate cognitive resources and determine whether Type 2 processing can be involved. It is worth doing future exploration on verifying the effect of emotion on specific dual processing models by cognitive neuroscience techniques, the association between emotional arousal and dual processing, recent developments in emotion theory, and the strategies for optimizing dual processing under emotional load.

Key words: intuitive processing, analytical processing, emotional valence, emotional arousal

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