Original Research ARTICLE
The impact of emotion on numerosity estimation
- Department of Psychology, Utah State University, 2810 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT, USA
Both time and numerosity can be represented continuously as analog properties whose discrimination conforms to Weber’s Law, suggesting that the two properties may be represented similarly. Recent research suggests that the representation of time is influenced by the presence of emotional stimuli. If time and numerosity share a common cognitive representation, it follows that a similar relationship may exist between emotional stimuli and the representation of numerosity. Here, we provide evidence that emotional stimuli significantly affect humans’ estimation of visual numerosity. During a numerical bisection task, enumeration of emotional stimuli (angry faces) was more accurate compared to enumeration of neutrally valenced stimuli (neutral faces), demonstrating that emotional stimuli affect humans’ visual representation of numerosity as previously demonstrated for time. These results inform and broaden our understanding of the effect of negative emotional stimuli on psychophysical discriminations of quantity.
Keywords: Weber’s Law, numerical cognition, emotion, quantitative discrimination, quantity
Citation: Baker JM, Rodzon KS and Jordan K (2013) The impact of emotion on numerosity estimation. Front. Psychol. 4:521. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00521
Received: 31 May 2013; Paper pending published: 18 June 2013;
Accepted: 24 July 2013; Published online: 09 August 2013.
Edited by:Carmelo Mario Vicario, University of Queensland, Australia; University of Palermo, Italy
Reviewed by:Sara Cordes, Boston College, USA
Carmelo Mario Vicario, University of Queensland, Australia; University of Palermo, Italy
Copyright: © 2013 Baker, Rodzon and Jordan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
*Correspondence: Joseph M. Baker, Department of Psychology, Utah State University, 2810 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA e-mail: email@example.com