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Front Psychol. 2015 Apr 17;6:468. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00468. eCollection 2015.

Myopic decisions under negative emotions correlate with altered time perception.

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Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University , Shanghai, China.


Previous studies have obtained inconsistent findings about emotional influence on inter-temporal choice (IC). In the present study, we first examined the effect of temporary emotional priming induced by affective pictures in a trial-to-trial paradigm on IC. The results showed that negative priming resulted in much higher percentages of trials during which smaller-but-sooner reward (SS%) were chosen compared with positive and neutral priming. Next, we attempted to explore the possible mechanisms underlying such emotional effects. When participants performed a time reproduction task, mean reaction times in negative priming condition were significantly shorter than those in the other two emotional contexts, which indicated that negative emotional priming led to overestimation of time. Moreover, such overestimation was negatively correlated with performance in the IC task. In contrast, temporary changes of emotional contexts did not alter performances in a Go/NoGo task (including commission errors and omission errors). In sum, our present findings suggested that myopic decisions under negative emotions were associated with altered time perception but not response inhibition.


emotion; inter-temporal choice; myopic behavior; response inhibition; time perception

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