Positive affect facilitates task switching in the dimensional change card sort task: Implications for the shifting aspect of executive function

Hwajin Yang, Sujin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using the modified Dimensional Change Card Sort task, we examined the influence of positive affect on task switching by inspecting various markers for the costs, including restart cost, switch cost and mixing cost. Given that the executive-control processes that underlie switching performance-i.e., inhibition or shifting-are distinct from the component processes that underlie non-switching performance-i.e., stimulus evaluation, resource allocation or response execution-we hypothesised that if positive affect facilitates task switching via executive-control processes, rather than via component processes, positive affect would reduce both switch and restart costs, but not mixing cost, because both switch and restart costs rely on executive processes, while mixing cost imposes only minimal demands on executive processes. We found beneficial effects of positive affect on both restart and switch costs, but not on mixing costs. These results suggest that positive affect improves switching abilities via executive processes rather than via component processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1254
Number of pages13
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Correspondence should be addressed to: Hwajin Yang, School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University, 90 Stamford Road, Singapore, Singapore. E-mail: hjyang@smu.edu.sg We are grateful to the late Dr Alice M. Isen for her guidance and support throughout this research. We also thank Dr Gesine Dreisbach and anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. This research was supported by a research grant from Singapore Management University conferred on the first author [C242/MSS8S019].

Keywords

  • Dimensional change card sort (DCCS)
  • Mixing cost
  • Positive affect
  • Restart cost
  • Switch cost
  • Task switching

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