Congratulations to graduate student Jolie Baumann and her advisor David DeSteno. Their research on emotion and threat detection was highlighted in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.
Participants induced to feel anger, compared to participants induced to feel a different emotion, were more likely to misidentify neutral objects, such as a wallet or cell phone, as a threatening object (i.e., gun) in a subsequent threat detection task. The evidence suggests that anger’s influence on risk perception may underlie this effect. Angry participants may have expected guns to be frequently presented in the threat detection task; thus, the threshold for responding may have reflected participants’ subjectively-set base rates. To see the entire article, go to the Wall Street Journal.