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Why positive information is processed faster: the density hypothesis

, : Why positive information is processed faster: the density hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 95(1): 36-49

The authors postulate and show a speed advantage in the processing of positive information and hypothesize that this advantage is caused by the higher density of positive information in memory: Positive information is more similar to other positive information, in comparison with the similarity of negative information to other negative information. This "density" hypothesis is supported by multidimensional scaling of evaluative stimuli and response latency experiments. The relevance and explanatory power of the hypothesis is demonstrated by secondary data analyses of prior research in the evaluative priming paradigm. The final discussion is concerned with further theoretical implications of the density hypothesis, its generality and limitations, and its relation to other theoretical conceptions and applications.


PMID: 18605850

DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.95.1.36

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