ANGER AND ASSOCIATED EXPERIENCES OF SADNESS, FEAR, VALENCE, AROUSAL, AND DOMINANCE EVOKED BY VISUAL SCENES1,2

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Abstract

Anger is a basic emotion experienced in several aversive situations. In this study, the relation between Anger, Fear, and Sadness, as well as the dimensions of Valence, Arousal, and Dominance, were examined. It was hypothesized that pictures showing an Intention to Harm would evoke not only Anger, but also Fear and Sadness, and that this would be correlated with low Valence, high Arousal, and high Dominance. To this end, 45 healthy volunteers (25 women and 20 men; M age = 27.2 yr., SD = 9.5) recorded appraisals for each of these emotional experience while viewing 120 pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System. Data were analyzed with a linear mixed model and a hierarchical classes approach to identify differences and correlations between emotional categories. Results indicate that those pictures showing Intention to Harm generate higher Anger and Fear, while pictures representing Frustration of Goals leads to higher Sadness. In addition, high Anger, Fear, and Sadness are associated with low Valence, moderate Arousal, and high Dominance. Same sex differences in emotional responses were also found. These findings suggest that the experience of Anger requires the inference of the other’s mental and physical state and need the regulation of cognitive and affective systems acting together. The study of this emotion should consider both categorical and dimensional approaches in order to define its coherent features.

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