The Influence of Happiness and Anxiety on Emotional Stroop Effect
Emotional Stroop effect is defined as a delay in reaction time or an increase in error rate while naming the color of emotional words compared to neutral words. The aim of this study was to examine how happiness and anxiety influence emotional Stroop effect. According to the principle of emotion congruence, information processing is facilitated if its emotional tone matches an individual’s mood. For the performance of the emotional Stroop task, it means that the meaning of emotionally congruent words should be processed easier, and emotional Stroop effect should become smaller or even disappear. Conversely, the processing of incongruent stimuli should be impaired, and the interference of word meaning in color naming should be greater. Based on these considerations, it was hypothesized that emotional Stroop effect would be greater with stimuli incongruent with a participant’s emotional state. We administered an emotional Stroop task with neutral, happy, and threatening words, music for mood induction, and the EmoS-15 questionnaire to estimate the effectiveness of mood induction. The hypothesis was not confirmed. Emotional Stroop effect estimated in error rates was greater for stimuli incongruent with emotional states, although this effect did not reach the conventional level of statistical significance.