Lacking control: Situation valence, effects of perceived control, and illusory pattern perception

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Peng Quan
Cong Feng
Qing Yang
Cite this article:  Quan, P., Feng, C., & Yang, Q. (2011). Lacking control: Situation valence, effects of perceived control, and illusory pattern perception. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 39(10), 1413-1416.


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We conducted 2 experiments in which we tested whether situation valence moderates the psychological consequences of lacking control. Participants who lacked control in negative circumstances were more likely to perceive illusory patterns. However, participants who lacked control in positive circumstances saw many fewer images compared to those in the full-control condition. Our results indicated that situation valence is an effective moderator of the psychological consequences of lacking control.

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