The valence of stimuli can influence performance in the spatial stimulus-response compatibility task, but this observation could arise from the process of selecting responses or selecting stimulus-response mappings. The response-selection account proposes that spatial compatible and incompatible keypress responses serve as approaching and avoiding actions to the target. The mapping-selection account suggests that there is congruence between stimulus valence and stimulus-response mappings; positive-compatible/negative-incompatible is more congruent than negative-compatible/positive-incompatible. Whereas affective valence was part of the target stimuli to which participants responded in the previous studies, the present study isolated affective valence from the target by presenting an additional mapping cue separately from the target, so that spatially compatible and incompatible keypress responses could no longer serve as approaching and avoiding actions to valenced target stimuli. The present results revealed that responses were still faster when positive and negative mapping cues were assigned to the spatially compatible and incompatible mappings than when the assignment was reversed. The finding supports the mapping-selection account, indicating that positive and negative cues influence performance without approach/avoidance actions to valenced stimuli. The experiment provides important implications as to how tasks are represented and are dependent on affective processing.
- stimulus-response compatibility
- affective valence
- mixed mapping
- response selection
- task representation