Dynamic motivated processing of emotional trajectories in public service announcements

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This manuscript, based upon previous work related to the dynamic processing of emotional trajectories, investigated how variable trajectories of emotional content can elicit motivational activation over time. Specifically, five emotional trajectories were examined: pleasant, unpleasant, pleasant and unpleasant simultaneously, pleasant leading to unpleasant, and unpleasant leading to pleasant. The resources available for encoding were indexed via secondary task reaction times, and memory was assessed via audio and video recognition. The results indicated that audio recognition improves as activation increases in the appetitive system while visual recognition improves as activation in the aversive system increases. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of communication theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-485
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Dynamic message processing
  • emotional trajectories
  • motivational activation
  • public service announcements
  • resource allocation


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