Title

Effects of Picture Content and Intensity on Affective Physiological Response

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-28-2006

Publication Title

Psychophysiology

Volume

43

Issue

1

First page number:

93

Last page number:

103

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of affective intensity and thematic content of foreground photographic stimuli on various physiological response systems. This was accomplished by assessing responses to pictures that varied systematically in these parameters. Along with overall effects of picture valence reported in previous work, we found effects of thematic content (i.e., specific nature of objects/events depicted) for all measures except heart rate. In addition, we found that the magnitude of startle blink, skin conductance, and corrugator muscle reactions increased with increasing affective intensity of pictures. Additionally, for these three measures, intensity effects also interacted with effects of picture content. These results indicate that stimulus parameters of intensity and thematic content exert separate—and in some cases interactive—modulatory effects on physiological reactions to emotional pictures.

Keywords

Emotions; Affect dimensions; Startle; Skin conductance; Facial muscles; Heart rate

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes

Language

English

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