What determines a feeling's position in affective space? A case for appraisal

Cognition and Emotion 20 (1):92-113 (2006)
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Abstract

The location of verbally reported feelings in a three-dimensional affective space is determined by the results of appraisal processes that elicit the respective states. One group of participants rated their evaluation of 59 pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) on a profile of nine appraisal criteria. Another group rated their affective reactions to the same pictures on the classic dimensions of affective meaning (valence, arousal, potency). The ratings on the affect dimensions correlate differentially with specific appraisal ratings. These results can be interpreted as showing that the reactions to the IAPS pictures are predictably produced through appraisal of picture content. The relevance of the findings for emotion induction paradigms and for emotion theory in general is discussed.

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