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      Phasic Emotional Reactions to Video Game Events: A Psychophysiological Investigation

      , , , ,

      Media Psychology

      Informa UK Limited

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          Most cited references 21

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          The emotion probe. Studies of motivation and attention.

           P J Lang (1995)
          Emotions are action dispositions--states of vigilant readiness that vary widely in reported affect, physiology, and behavior. They are driven, however, by only 2 opponent motivational systems, appetitive and aversive--subcortical circuits that mediate reactions to primary reinforcers. Using a large emotional picture library, reliable affective psychophysiologies are shown, defined by the judged valence (appetitive/pleasant or aversive/unpleasant) and arousal of picture percepts. Picture-evoked affects also modulate responses to independently presented startle probe stimuli. In other words, they potentiate startle reflexes during unpleasant pictures and inhibit them during pleasant pictures, and both effects are augmented by high picture arousal. Implications are elucidated for research in basic emotions, psychopathology, and theories of orienting and defense. Conclusions highlight both the approach's constraints and promising paths for future study.
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            Affective reactions to acoustic stimuli.

            Emotional reactions to naturally occurring sounds (e.g., screams, erotica, bombs, etc.) were investigated in two studies. In Experiment 1, subjects rated the pleasure and arousal elicited when listening to each of 60 sounds, followed by an incidental free recall task. The shape of the two-dimensional affective space defined by the mean ratings for each sound was similar to that previously obtained for pictures, and, like memory for pictures, free recall was highest for emotionally arousing stimuli. In Experiment 2, autonomic and facial electromyographic (EMG) activity were recorded while a new group of subjects listened to the same set of sounds; the startle reflex was measured using visual probes. Listening to unpleasant sounds resulted in larger startle reflexes, more corrugator EMG activity, and larger heart rate deceleration compared with listening to pleasant sounds. Electrodermal reactions were larger for emotionally arousing than for neutral materials. Taken together, the data suggest that acoustic cues activate the appetitive and defensive motivational circuits underlying emotional expression in ways similar to pictures.
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              Enjoyment: At the Heart of Media Entertainment

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Media Psychology
                Media Psychology
                Informa UK Limited
                1521-3269
                1532-785X
                November 2006
                November 2006
                : 8
                : 4
                : 343-367
                Article
                10.1207/s1532785xmep0804_2
                © 2006

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