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Jeff Huntsinger

Jeff Huntsinger

The opposite of a great truth is also true.
William J. McGuire (1973)

I primarily study how affect (e.g., moods and emotions) influences the way we think about and perceive the world and people around us.

Something of a great truth in the affect-cognition literature is the idea that the cognitive consequences of affect are etched in psychological stone. Positive and negative emotions, for example, have distinct cognitive and perceptual effects: positive moods make people think in superficial ways, and negative moods make people think more analytically; happy people are quick to focus on the forest, and sad people are quick to focus on the trees; and so forth.

My research turns this great truth on its head by showing that the influence of affect on cognition is highly flexible. I take as a theoretical starting point the view that positive and negative affect influence cognition simply by providing information about the value or validity of accessible thoughts and styles of thinking (Clore & Huntsinger, 2009; Huntsinger & Clore, 2012; Huntsinger, Isbell & Clore, in press; Huntsinger & Schnall, 2013). Positive affect serves as a “go signal” that encourages the use of mental content and negative affect serves as a “stop signal” that discourages the use of such content. Thus, rather than assuming a direct or dedicated connection between affect and styles of cognitive processing, this view implies that the impact of affect on cognition should be quite malleable and depend on what thoughts and responses happen to be in mind at the time. Further, the reason that affect appeared to have fixed effects on cognition in past research is that, across people and situations, the same thoughts and styles of thinking are usually highly accessible.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

  • Clore, G., & Huntsinger, J. R. (2009). How the object of affect guides its impact. Emotion Review, 1, 39-54.
  • Clore, G., & Huntsinger, J. R. (2007). How emotions inform judgment and regulate thought. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 393-399.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2014). A flexible impact of affective feelings on priming effects: Assimilation and Contrast. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 450-462.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2013). Affective incoherence reduces reliance on activated stereotypes. Social Cognition, 31, 349-360.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2013). Anger enhances correspondence between implicit and explicit attitudes. Emotion, 13, 350-357.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2013). Does emotion directly tune the scope of attention? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 265-270.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2013). Incidental experiences of affective coherence and incoherence influence persuasion. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 792-802.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2013). Narrowing down to the automatically activated attitude: A narrow conceptual scope improves correspondence between implicitly and explicitly measured attitudes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 132-137.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2012). Does positive affect broaden and negative affect narrow attentional scope? A new answer to an old question. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 595-600.
  • Huntsinger, J. R. (2011). Mood and trust in intuition interactively orchestrate correspondence between implicit and explicit attitudes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1245-1258.
  • Huntsinger, J. R., Clore, G., & Bar-Anan, Y. (2010). Mood and global-local focus: Priming a local focus reverses the link between mood and global-local processing. Emotion, 10, 722-726.
  • Huntsinger, J. R., Isbell, L., & Clore, G. L. (in press). The affective control of thought: Malleable, not fixed. Psychological Review
  • Huntsinger, J. R., Lun, J., Sinclair, S., & Clore, G. (2009). Contagion without contact: Anticipatory mood matching in response to affiliative motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 909-922.
  • Huntsinger, J. R., & Sinclair, S. (2010). If it feels right, go with it: Affective regulation of affiliative social tuning. Social Cognition, 28, 290-305.
  • Huntsinger, J. R., Sinclair, S., & Clore, G. (2009). Affective regulation of implicitly measured attitudes and stereotypes: Automatic and controlled processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 560-566.
  • Huntsinger, J. R., Sinclair, S., Dunn, E., & Clore, G. (2010). Affective regulation of automatic stereotype activation: It’s the (accessible) thought that counts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 564-577.
  • Huntsinger, J. R., Sinclair, S., Kenrick, A. & Ray, C. (in press). Affiliative social tuning reduces the activation of prejudice. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations
  • Huntsinger, J. R., & Smith, C. T. (2009). First thought, best thought: Positive mood maintains and negative mood disrupts implicit-explicit attitude correspondence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 187-197.

Other Publications:

  • Huntsinger, J. R., & Clore, G. L. (2012). Emotion and meta-cognition. In P. Brinol and K. DeMarree (Eds.), Social Meta-Cognition (Frontiers of Social Psychology Series) (pp. 199-217). Psychology Press: New York, NY.
  • Huntsinger, J. R., & Schnall, S. (2013). Emotion-cognition interactions. In D. Riesberg (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology (pp. 571-584). New York: Oxford University Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Gender and Sex: Differences and Similarities
  • Lab in Tests and Measurements
  • Research Methods
  • Social Psychology

Jeff Huntsinger
Department of Psychology
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, Illinois 60660
United States

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