Gaze-fixation to happy faces predicts mood repair after a negative mood induction

Alvaro Sanchez, Carmelo Vazquez, Diego Gomez, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


The present study tested the interplay between mood and attentional deployment by examining attention to positive (i.e., happy faces) and negative (i.e., angry and sad faces) stimuli in response to experimental inductions of sad and happy mood. Participants underwent a negative, neutral, or positive mood induction procedure (MIP) which was followed by an assessment of their attentional deployment to emotional faces using eye-tracking technology. Faces were selected from the Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces (KDEF) database (Lundqvist, Flykt, & öhman, 1998). In the positive MIP condition, analyses revealed a mood- congruent relation between positive mood and greater attentional deployment to happy faces. In the negative MIP condition, however, analyses revealed a mood- incongruent relation between increased negative mood and greater attentional deployment to happy faces. Furthermore, attentional deployment to happy faces after the negative MIP predicted participants' mood recovery at the end of the experimental session. These results suggest that attentional processing of positive information may play a role in mood repair, which may have important clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014



  • Cognitive biases
  • Emotional processing
  • Mood regulation
  • Mood repair
  • Selective attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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