Affective judgment and psychophysiological response: Dimensional covariation in the evaluation of pictorial stimuli

Academic Article


  • This study examined the relationship of verbal affective judgements to psychophysiological response organization, based on a dimensional analysis of emotion. Forty-eight unselected undergraduates viewed 21 colored photographic slides, which had previously been shown to vary widely across the affective dimensions of valence and arousal. During the viewing interval, skin conductance, facial electromyographic (zygomatic, corrugator) and heart rate measures were taken. Subjects assigned affective ratings immediately after viewing each slide. Regression analyses showed that differential facial EMG activity and peak acceleration were both specific and sensitive to valence (pleasure-displeasure) ratings, while skin conductance was specific and sensitive to arousal ratings. Some gender effects were observed: Males showed greater concordance between arousal and skin conductance, and females demonstrated greater overall zygomatic EMG. The results are interpreted in light of research on dimensional approaches to emotion, response concordance, and experimental tasks involving affective evaluation.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Greenwald MK; Cook EW; Lang PJ
  • Start Page

  • 51
  • End Page

  • 64
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 1