Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Joanisse, Marc F.


To investigate if making a word harder to read attenuates emotional influences like valence and arousal, we used a sample of Warriner and colleagues’ (2013) corpus with valence and arousal norms, a font manipulation from the perceptual fluency paradigm, and a word naming task. We found that, contrary to our hypotheses, emotional influences of words on RT were not attenuated in the disfluent condition; in fact, disfluency seemed to amplify the facilitative effects of high arousal. These results suggest that models of word recognition should consider the role that emotions play in recognition. They also provide limited support to models that emphasize the importance of perceptual features (e.g., Fritsch & Kuchinke, 2013) as well as the facilitative effect of high valence words (e.g., automatic vigilance), but, ultimately, do not fit into one specific theoretical framework. This study also represents the first application of perceptual fluency in emotional word recognition.