Emotional expression inhibits attention bias: From the post-truth era perspective

Lichao Xiu1, Ya Yang1, Ting Han1, Guoming Yu1
1School of Journalism and Communication, and Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Communication, Beijing Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Xiu, L., Yang, Y., Han, T., & Yu, G. (2020). Emotional expression inhibits attention bias: From the post-truth era perspective. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(4), e8961.

Volume 48 Issue 4 | e8961 | Published: April 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.8961

Abstract
Full Text
References
Tables and Figures
Acknowledgements
Author Contact

Post-truth denotes circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than are appeals to emotion and personal belief. Few researchers have investigated the influence of post-truth-era communication modes, especially emotional reporting modes, on people's attention bias, which is an essential feature of their information selection. We randomly divided 50 participants into an experimental group (n = 25), who read an emotional report, and a control group (n = 25), who read an objective, neutral report. Then both groups completed a dot-probe task to investigate whether attention bias was affected by the emotional reporting. Results show that it was more difficult for individuals who had read the emotional report to distinguish between negative and neutral social cues. This suggests that emotional news reports in the post-truth era can have an adverse effect on people's information selection mechanism, which hinders in-depth thinking and makes it difficult to distinguish which information is neutral versus threatening. Journalists should avoid becoming propaganda tools for certain interest groups to affect public sentiment, cause trouble, shift the focus of attention, and create conflict.

Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.
Please login and/or purchase the PDF to view the full article.