Cheerleading is a new sport, practiced in 110 nations; since 2016 enjoys provisional Olympic status. Its leaders claim that it is a “happy” sport, but research on its psychological effects is lacking. In this field-study we examined core-affect, positive-affect, and negative-affect in 65 cheerleaders before, during, after, and one-hour after a cheerleading training. Core-affect was more positive during and immediately after training, but it tapered off one hour following the training when feeling states were still more positive than at baseline. Negative-affect declined linearly from baseline to one-hour following training when it became significantly lower than its previous values. Positive-affect showed quadratic dynamics, in parallel with arousal, being higher during and immediately after training than during baseline, or one-hour after training. These results demonstrate for the first time that cheerleading is a “happy” sport, which apart from the skill-development also yields positive psychological emotions both during and after training.
Studies based on the most common diagnostic categories do not bring conclusive results concerning the overlapping and distinctive features of anxiety and depression, especially in the areas of attentional functioning, structure of affect, and cognitive emotion regulation. However, a new typology has been proposed which treats anxiety and depression as personality types (Fajkowska, 2013). These types – arousal and apprehension anxiety as well as valence and anhedonic depression – are constructed based on two criteria: specific structure and functions (reactive or regulative). The present paper critically examines the empirical evidence related to this approach. The data mostly confirmed the prediction that the similarities and differences in attentional and affective functioning among the anxiety and depression types would be related to their shared and specific structural and functional characteristics. The new typology turned out to be suitable for integrating the existing research findings by relating them to the structure and functions of anxiety and depression. As a result, it is useful in explaining some of the inconsistencies in literature, as it allows to identify the overlapping and distinctive features of the anxiety and depression types. It also helps to understand the mechanisms contributing to the development and maintenance of anxiety and depression, which might be useful in diagnosis and treatment. However, even though Fajkowska’s approach is an important contribution to the understanding of anxiety and depression, it is not exhaustive. Its limitations are discussed, along with proposed modifications of the theory, as well as further research directions.
This study presents the consequences of incidental affect when performing a letter search in a complex visual field. Participants were exposed to two superficially unrelated tasks in succession. First, they had to read and remember as much as possible from among 135 emotional words chosen to enable manipulation of two affective factors, valence and origin of emotional state, in a 3x3 factorial design with alignment of other variables, such as arousal, concreteness, frequency of appearance and length. The second task was based on a visual search paradigm. Participants viewed a display of six letters and responded if at least one of two target letters was present. Analysis of reaction latencies for correct responses showed that valence of the words read in the first task had no effect on visual search effectiveness. The origin of the affective state elicited by the words in the first task did influence response latencies: latencies were longer when the first task involved reading words eliciting emotions of automatic origin rather than words eliciting emotions of reflective origin. This study provides further evidence that valence effects found in earlier studies could be accounted for by other dimensions, especially origin of emotional state.