Author: Jason Kunkel
Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
Relatively minimal work has examined the extent to which sad and happy emotional detectors nonconsciously influence executive processes and if these mechanisms affect water appraisal and water consumption behavior. This research studies if and the degrees to which sad and happy emotional detectors affect water appraisal, water consumption and attention. The participants were asked to locate and report an asterisk's location that was superimposed in subliminal pictures of happy or sad people presented on a computer, pour water from a 1000 mL container into a 473 mL cup, consume as much of the 1000 mL of water as desired, and provide ratings of the water on a questionnaire. The one tailed independent samples t-tests revealed that the participants in the "happy" condition detected more (p.05) causal relationships and interactions, respectively, between the experimental conditions and appraisal and behavioral processes regarding water. These findings suggest that humans may be unable to devote their full attention to a task when their "sad" emotional detectors are activated. Also, our "happy" and "sad" emotional detectors may not be able to influence water consumption or appraisals.