There is variance between persons regarding the incentives that activate our motivational system. The effect of individual differences in basic motives on attentional allocation to emotional stimuli remains controversial.

In motivational psychology, it is assumed that each person has a certain predisposition in terms of the three basic motives affiliation, achievement and power. These motives determine the extent to which a person reacts to incentives/cues in these domains. Previous research shows that individual motives make persons more sensitive to the respective cues. However, it remains unclear what effect this enhanced sensitivity has on attentional processes. In this project, the role of individual motives is further investigated by means of attentional tasks (dot-probe task) involving emotional stimuli (happy and angry faces). Analysis of response time to emotional stimuli will shed light on attentional processes and the moderating role of individual motives.


Prof. Dr. Matthias Maalouli-Hartmann
Prof. Dr. Matthias Maalouli-Hartmann Associate professor
Nils Sommer
Nils Sommer Research assistant
Sarah Lussi
Sarah Lussi (Bachelor‘s thesis)