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The effects of white noise on state complexity and evaluative importance Lim, David Teck-Kai


The effects of cortical arousal on state complexity and evaluative importance were examined. Arousal was manipulated using two levels of white noise. In Study 1, a three-dimensional social domain was created using behavioral descriptions of eight fictitious people. In Study 2, subjects memorized these descriptions, and later, from memory, made similarity judgments among these eight targets while being exposed to either loud or soft white noise. The first hypothesis was that loud noise would effect an increase in the relative importance of the evaluation dimension. The second hypothesis was that this increased use of evaluation would be a result of a reduction in state complexity-evidenced by the other dimensions becoming less important. The results fully supported the first hypothesis and partially supported the second. There was also some support for the hypothesis that trait complex compared to trait simple individuals would be more affected by loud noise. However, the prediction that sensitizers would be more affected by the loud noise than repressors was not supported. The limitations of the second stud-y and new directions for research are discussed.

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