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Children's cognitive and psychophysiological responses to affective pictures

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Children's cognitive and psychophysiological responses to affective pictures
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McManis, Mark H
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Adults ( jstor )
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Child psychology ( jstor )
Children ( jstor )
Emotional development ( jstor )
Emotional expression ( jstor )
Galvanic skin response ( jstor )
Heart rate ( jstor )
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Psychology thesis, Ph. D
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1996.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 62-66).
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Typescript.
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Vita.
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by Mark H. McManis.

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CHILDREN'S COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO
AFFECTIVE PICTURES











By

MARK H. MCMANIS


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1996












ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
There are a number of people who have helped me to achieve my

educational goals. I have benefited from discussions with students and

professors over the years, and received moral support when needed. I wish to
thank by name all of those who have helped me, but space does not permit. I
hope that I have shown sufficient gratitude to those who have offered help and I
would like to reaffirm that gratitude at this time. There are, however, some
people who deserve special thanks for their contributions to my success.

First, without my family's support, I could not have done this. My wife,
Dale, has offered her support to me throughout this process while facing the
same pressures as myself. She and our son, Perry, have been a constant
source of inspiration and strength to me. My mother has also supported me
through the years and I will always be grateful for her strength during hard
times. My father, brothers and sister have all lent their support when called

upon and I am thankful for their comfort. My grandfather, Grumpa, however,

deserves the most credit for challenging me to be my best and strive for the
highest achievements. I only wish he had lived long enough to see his efforts
bear fruit.

Academically, I have had many role models pointing me toward success.
Dr. Samual Mathews was instrumental in my decision to pursue a graduate
degree in psychology and has remained an important figure in my life. All of the
members of my dissertation committee have contributed significantly to my
intellectual growth, both as role models and instructors. In particular, Keith

Berg, Margaret Bradley, and Peter Lang have taught me what it means to be a








scientist and researcher. I owe much of my success to them for taking the time
to teach me how to be a professor. I hope that my career reflects the principles

they have taught me.
This dissertation is the product of many years of effort by many people.

The specific content of this dissertation, however, is mine, as are any errors the

reader may find. I hope that my efforts reflect well on those who have helped
me complete my dissertation. I have not been able to recognize all who have

contributed to my education here, but those who have helped can be assured I
have not forgotten them and I am grateful for their assistance.














TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................. ..........................ii

A B S T R A C T ................................................................................. ................................vi

INTRODUCTION ............................. ......................................................................... 1

Organization of Emotions................................................... .......................... 2
Measurement of Stimulus Dimensions................................. ....................... 5
Children's Knowledge and Use of Emotional Dimensions.............................. 8
Direct Measure of Children's Use of Emotional Dimensions ........................ 10
Physiological Response Patterns to Affective Stimuli..................................... 12
Affective Modulation of the Human Startle Eyeblink.................................... 14
Research Questions............................... ..................................................... 16

M E T H O D ................................................................................... ............................... 18

S ubjects............................. ............................................ .......... 18
Apparatus and Response Measurement......................... ....... ................ 18
Stimulus Materials..........................................................................................20
P roced ure ................................ .................. .............. ................................. 2 0
Physiological Data Reduction and Analysis................... ...........................25

R E S U LT S ..................................... .............................................................................26

Affective Ratings................................................................................................. 26
Comparison Between Normative and Laboratory Results....................... 26
Analysis of Laboratory Ratings............................. ................. .............30
Ratings-Physiology Covariation Analysis ............................... .. ............ 33
Corrugator Activity ....................................................... ..........................35
Skin Conductance................................ .................................................35
Heart Rate .............................................. ................................................. 35
Startle Magnitude ....................................................................................... 40
Analysis of Physiological Responses by Affective Categories........................ 40
Corrugator Activity............................................ .....................................40
Skin Conductance............................. ....................................................42
H heart R ate ..................................................................... ................................4 3
Startle Magnitude ....................................................... ................................ 44






iv









D IS C U S S IO N ......................................................................... ..................................5 1

Stimulus Selection, Categorization, and Judgments of
C haracteristics............................................................. ........................... 52
Development of Responses to Affective Pictures............................................54
Children's Responses to Affective Pictures........................ ........... 54
Adolescents' Responses to Affective Pictures............................................57
Young Adults' Responses to Affective Pictures........................................58
Looking Ahead ......................... ... ..................... ............................ 60

R E F E R E N C E S .............................................................................. ...........................62

APPENDIX A CHILDREN'S NORMATIVE SLIDE RATING STUDY ................67

APPENDIX B INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAM RATINGS IN LABORATORY
EXPER IM ENTS .................................... ........................................................ 72

APPENDIX C LABORATORY AND NORMATIVE RATINGS FOR
P IC T U R E S .............................................................................. ............................ 75

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................................................ ....................... 88













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

CHILDREN'S COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES
TO AFFECTIVE PICTURES

By

Mark H. McManis

May, 1996

Chairman: Peter J. Lang
Major Department: Psychology
Emotional pictures reliably evoke a wide range of measurable physical
reactions in adults. Changes in heart rate, skin conductance, and facial muscle
activity are related to the affective content of the pictures. Additionally,
unpleasant pictures facilitate the startle reflex while pleasant pictures inhibit it.

This study looks at these response systems across a wide age range to

determine whether the pattern of responses changes with age.

Thirty children (15 female) 7 10 years of age (median: 8 years), 30

adolescents (15 female) 12 15 years of age (median: 13 years), and 30
college undergraduates (15 female) 18 24 years of age (median: 19 years)
participated in this study. Each participant viewed a series of pictures varying in
affective content. Heart rate, skin conductance, and corrugator EMG were
recorded during the 6 s picture period. During each picture, a 95 dB, 50 ms

burst of white noise was delivered binaurally to elicit a startle eyeblink which
was measured as EMG activity of the left orbicularis oculi.








Responses across the age groups were markedly similar. Heart rate
change in children and adolescents showed the same pattern as previously
seen in adults. Affective modulation of skin conductance and corrugator EMG
were also similar to the pattern obtained for adults. Startle blinks were

modulated by valence for undergraduates, but a more complex relationship
between picture content and blink magnitude emerged for children and
adolescents.
In a free viewing period, all age groups looked at pleasant and
unpleasant pictures longer than neutral pictures. Adults and adolescents,

however, looked at unpleasant pictures longer than both pleasant and neutral.
An analysis of each age groups' ratings of the pictures reveals that all age

groups rated the pictures similarly in pleasure, but young children rated the
unpleasant slides less arousing than did adolescents or adults.
Taken together, these data indicate that children respond to affective
pictures in ways very similar to adults. There were differences in picture
preference, but the physiological response patterns for pleasant, neutral, and
unpleasant pictures was consistent across age groups. Implications for the

measurement of affective state in children is also discussed.













INTRODUCTION
Lang's (1985) bio-informational theory of emotion has been one of the
most influential in the area of emotional development. Dodge (1989) states that

since its first presentation, the bio-informational theory has had no serious
competitors for the best explanation of emotional experience. Recent reviews

(see Cuthbert & Melamed, 1993; Drobes & Lang, 1995) cover the bio-
informational theory and its contributions to emotion research in more detail. Of
relevance to the current discussion are the types of information that Lang states
are intrinsic to the emotional experience: sensory input, semantic or linguistic
constructs, and physical responses. The responses occurring to perceived

environmental stimuli are fundamental in the experience of emotion and can be

measured in three output systems: verbal, physiological, and behavioral
responses.

Within the framework of the bio-informational theory, a number of studies

(e.g., Bradley, Cuthbert, & Lang, 1990; Bradley, Lang, & Cuthbert, 1993;
Cuthbert, Bradley, & Lang, in press; Lang, Greenwald, Bradley, & Hamm, 1993)
have demonstrated that emotional pictures reliably evoke a wide range of

measurable physical reactions in adults. By measuring responses in the three
output systems described above, much has been learned about emotional
response. Behavioral measures such as viewing time, and verbal report
measures such as affective ratings, have been used in a picture viewing
paradigm that uses a wide variety of standardized affective pictures to elicit
emotional reactions. Physiological measures, including changes in heart rate,
skin conductance, startle eyeblink magnitude, and facial muscle activity have








been shown to be reliably related to the affective content of pictures and to
subjects' affective reports.
The purpose of this study is to increase our knowledge-base regarding
children's and adolescents' physiological responses to affective stimuli by
determining if the picture paradigm established by Lang and his colleagues is
useful in the study of emotional states in these populations. Within this
paradigm, affective pictures are used to elicit emotional states in the laboratory
and responses are measured using physiological, self-report (i.e., ratings), and
behavioral (i.e., viewing time) methods. This study seeks, within a bio-
informational framework, to determine whether the pattern of responses across
a variety of response systems to affective pictures changes as a function of age.

Organization of Emotions
Dodge (1989) points out that the organizational framework within which
one works plays an important role in the conceptualization of research
questions. While much of the work investigating the development of emotions is
based on the expression of specific emotions (i.e., Ekman, 1984; Izard, 1977) or
cognitive stage development (Case, Hayward, Lewis, & Hurst, 1988; Fischer,

Shaver, & Carnochan, 1990; Harris, 1989; Harter & Buddin, 1987), these
approaches tend to limit measurement to a single response system. The
orientation of the present study is based on the work by Lang and his
colleagues (Lang, 1995; Lang, Bradley, & Cuthbert, 1990; Lang et al., 1993). It
is founded on a dimensional view, which assumes that emotion can be defined
in terms of values on a limited number of independent dimensions that organize
affective states. A dimensional organization reduces the vast array of emotional
states into a set of values on the dimensions. Konorski (1967) developed a
method of classifying emotional behavior based on the underlying motivational
set of the organism. This method allowed a large set of emotions to be defined








in terms of two motivational dimensions: appetitive and aversive. In this work,
Konorski (1967) initially organized mammalian behaviors into two major
categories based on their biological role. One set of responses he termed
preservative and included all activities involved in necessary intake of
substances (e.g., food, air), excretion of waste, rest and recuperation, and
procreation, etc. The second set of responses were called protective and
included withdrawal from noxious or dangerous stimuli, rejection of harmful
stimuli, and aggressive attack on dangerous enemies. Konorski describes the
preservative responses directed toward a stimulus as appetitive and the stimuli
that evoke these responses as attractive. The protective responses directed
away from the stimulus are called defensive and the stimuli that evoke these
responses are called aversive.
Further ideas regarding the organization of behavior into a biphasic
motivational system come from Schneirla (1959). Arguing that approach and
withdrawal behaviors were the only empirical, objective terms that could be
applied to all motivated behavior in all animals, he proposed that all behavior
could be described in these terms. Toward that end, approach is defined by
Schneirla as getting nearer to the source of the stimulus, whereas withdrawal
involves an increase in the distance between the organism and the source of
the stimulus. The list of approach behaviors includes food-getting, shelter-
getting, and mating. Withdrawal behaviors include defense, huddling, and
flight. This biphasic organization provides a basic framework within which
emotions can be understood in terms of dimensions.
Following the ideas of Konorski (1967) and Schneirla (1959), Lang and
his colleagues have presented a theory of emotion based on the motivational
states of the organism. According to this view, stimuli are organized as a
function of their hedonic value to the organism. Appetitive stimuli are








associated with pleasant hedonic states in the organism and aversive stimuli

associated with unpleasant states. This describes an approach/avoid
dimension that corresponds to pleasure. The intensity of an emotional state is
described in terms of arousal or activation of the organism. The advantage a
dimensional organization offers over discrete emotional states is that the
researcher does not have to determine specific behaviors that correspond with

a given emotion on a one-to-one basis for measurement. The task of the
researcher becomes one of describing the motivational state (appetite or

aversion) of the organism. For example, spontaneous defecation, freezing, and
flight are among the many behaviors classified as fear related. With such a
diverse set of behaviors to code, it is difficult to determine the state of the
organism at the time of measurement (Lang, 1995; Lang et al., 1990; Lang et al.

1993).

Fox (1991) has extended Lang's theory to include emotional
development beginning in infancy. Using data from studies with infants, Fox
proposes that there are a limited number of motivational situations for an infant.
Emotional life for the infant, therefore, arises from these limited situations that

can be aligned along the dimensions of approach and withdrawal. Increasing

emotional complexity develops as a function of the blending of approach and

withdrawal tendencies. Also, as motor skills develop, motor response patterns
are added to the infants repertoire of emotional expression and facilitate

approach and withdrawal. There is evidence from EEG studies (Fox, 1991; Fox
& Davidson, 1988) of a neurological basis for a dimensional organization of
emotion. Fox and his colleagues find that EEG and behavioral data show
evidence for two independent motivational systems that direct approach or
withdrawal behaviors. With development, these two system become

recognized as the full spectrum of specific emotions humans report.








Measurement of Stimulus Dimensions
In order to determine whether the affective states elicited by pictures can
be adequately described by a finite number of dimensions, it is important to
investigate how particular stimuli are represented in the two-dimensional space.
The International Affective Picture System (IAPS, Center for Study on Emotion
and Attention, 1994) is a set of color pictures depicting a wide range of
emotional scenes that currently has normative (college undergraduate) ratings
of valence, arousal, and dominance for hundreds of different pictures. To
explore the nature of this space, an ongoing series of studies is being
conducted at the University of Florida. The Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM)
affective rating system devised by Lang (1980) is used for ratings. In this
system, a graphic figure depicting each dimension on a continuously varying
scale is used to indicate emotional reactions. As can be seen in figure 1, SAM
ranges from a smiling, happy figure to a frowning, unhappy figure when
representing the valence dimension; similarly, SAM ranges from an excited,
wide-eyed figure to a relaxed, sleepy figure for the arousal dimension.
Dominance is represented by a small, submissive SAM at one end and a large,
dominant SAM at the other end. In this version of SAM, the subject can place
an 'X' over any of the 5 figures in each scale, or between any two figures.

Using SAM, hundreds of college undergraduates have rated over five
hundred pictures in the IAPS. The pictures sample a wide range of emotional
contents, including babies, opposite-sex nudes, romantic couples, sports
events, food, nature scenes, household objects, snakes, spiders, guns,
cemeteries, mutilated bodies, and more. Figure 2 shows each slide located in
emotional space as defined by its mean valence and arousal rating. These
stimuli evoke reactions across the entire range of each dimension: mean
valence ratings for these slides range






































Figure 1. The self-assessment manikin used in normative rating studies.











--. -. -*-* --- .-- *-Ii........





-
7- x tr t t tr e- I --a---
n th :dm Vn i- l, i

it- COl (al G a &


7t *&; ."
--........................ ...... .. ...... ...... ... ... .... ..........
i 4* 0
2- ...... ..... ........ ... ......


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Arousal


Figure 2. Pleasure and arousal ratings for the
International Affective Picture System. These ratings
come from several studies of college undergraduates'
ratings of affective pictures.

from extremely unpleasant to extremely pleasant, and are distributed fairly
evenly across the valence dimension. Also, a wide range of arousal levels are
elicited by these materials (Bradley, Greenwald, & Hamm, 1993).

Not only has the SAM been shown to be able to represent the affective
space described by slides, Bradley and Lang (1994) have shown that it is highly
correlated with the Semantic Differential scale of Russell and Mehrabian. In a
study comparing SAM ratings to Semantic Differential ratings, correlations
between Semantic Differential scale, SAM ratings were computed. A factor
analysis of the Semantic Differential scale produced results very close to those








of Mehrabian and Russell (1974), with three factors of pleasure, arousal, and

dominance accounting for most of the variance. Each factor score was then
averaged across subjects to produce a mean score on that factor for each slide.
Pearson correlations between these computed factor scores and the mean
SAM rating for the slides were very high.
The work done on the IAPS shows that a wide range of emotions, as
elicited by visual stimuli, can be described in terms of valence, arousal, and
dominance. It is understood that pictures may not be able to represent the full
spectrum of emotions, but other studies using sounds and words confirm that
emotional dimensions can adequately describe certain emotional experiences.
Children's Knowledge and Use of Emotional Dimensions
The studies described above provide strong evidence that the
dimensions of pleasure and arousal can be used to describe emotional stimuli
by adults. In order for a dimensional approach to the organization of emotion to
be useful, however, it would be helpful if data indicated that emotional concepts
of children are organized along dimensions comparable to adults. The
following discussion presents strong evidence that children organize their
emotional concepts in terms of valence and arousal.
One investigation of children's emotional concepts was conducted by
Russell and Ridgeway (1983) using emotional adjectives. Teachers provided a
list of words they considered to represent the emotional lexicon of children 11 to
14 years old. A questionnaire of 51 emotional words or phrases was created
and 270 children rated how they felt that day. The children's answers were
used in a principle components analysis. Two factors were retained, with the
first factor accounting for 23.4 percent of the initial variance and the second
accounting for 5.0 percent of the variance. The first factor was interpreted by the
authors as a pleasure factor, with words like "nice" and "cheerful" loading








positively and "miserable" loading negatively. The second factor was an

arousal factor with words like "sleepy" on the negative end and "full of energy"
at the positive end.

Further evidence that children's emotional concepts can be defined as a
function of two dimensions comes from Russell and Bullock (1985). A sorting

task was assigned to 30 college undergraduates and 42 preschoolers four to
five years of age. The task involved sorting pictures of facial expressions into

two piles of similar emotional expression. This task was repeated for 3, 4, 7,
and 10 piles. Children's groupings and the dimensional structure of the

groupings showed a remarkable similarity to that of adults. Multi-dimensional
scaling generated a two dimensional model (pleasure and arousal) that

accounted for the groupings. Furthermore, correlations between the children
and adults were greater than .90 for both of the dimensions. Another study by
Russell and Bullock (1986) replicated these findings and extended them to

include 2-year-olds. The results here show that even very young children
organize their interpretation of emotional facial expressions in terms of a

biphasic dimensional model of emotions.

The research of Russell and his colleagues shows that children's

emotional concepts can be described in terms of the primary dimensions of

pleasure and arousal. This is supported by a study where adults were asked to
rate drawings of emotional expressions made by children (Moland & Whissell,
1993). Children in grades 2, 4, and 7 produced drawings of several emotions:

Happy, sad, angry, afraid, surprised, and disgusted faces were drawn. Adults
were asked to label the drawings made by the children using the emotion words
provided and also to rate them on the dimensions of pleasure and arousal.
An analysis of the categorization and dimensional ratings showed a

great deal of similarity in the different ratings. The dimensional ratings made by








the adults strongly predicted their category placement. Both categorical and
dimensional ratings were accurate, but interestingly, the dimensional ratings of
fear and disgust better differentiated the two facial expressions than did the
category assignment. This again illustrates that children's emotional concepts

are not independent of the primary emotional dimensions of pleasure and
arousal.

Direct Measure of Children's Use of Emotional Dimensions
To aid in selecting stimuli for the research presented here, a
developmental study of pleasure and arousal ratings of emotional pictures was

conducted. In this normative study, we used 60 of the IAPS pictures and
obtained ratings of emotional responses from a sample of children and

adolescents. Pictures depicting various emotional scenes were shown to 123

elementary and middle school students and 20 college undergraduates. Each
subject rated the pool of pictures using the SAM. For pleasure, words like

"happy", "good", and "unhappy", "bad", or sad" were used in the instructions to
describe the endpoints. For arousal, words like "calm", "bored", and "excited",
"nervous", or "wide awake" described the endpoints. Appendix A gives the

complete instructions read to the children.

As can be seen in figure 3, children showed a consistent pattern of
higher arousal pictures being rated as more extreme on the pleasure

dimension. That is, pictures rated highly arousing were also rated as more
pleasant or more unpleasant than pictures rated low in arousal. This pattern is

identical to that found previously with adults. There were significant correlations
between the child and adolescent groups ratings on both pleasure and arousal

dimensions and ratings from the adult undergraduate sample on these
dimensions. Specifically, correlations between young children and

undergraduates were .95 and .88 for pleasure and arousal, respectively.











o


*
7-



6-
6- *
















1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Arousal

Figure 3. Normative ratings of affective slides for children 7 to 15 years
of age.



Similarly high correlations were obtained between older children and

undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .89 for arousal) and for adolescents and

undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .90 for arousal).
Results indicate a high degree of reliability (Cronbach's a ranging from

.97 to .99 for the sample) in children's ratings of emotional pictures. It is also

clear that children verbal responses to emotionally evocative pictures are
0
*



2- *





Arousal

Figure 3. Normative ratings of affective slides for children 7 to 15 years
of age.



Similarly high correlations were obtained between older children and

undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .89 for arousal) and for adolescents and

undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .90 for arousal).
Results indicate a high degree of reliability (Cronbach's a ranging from

.97 to .99 for the sample) in children's ratings of emotional pictures. It is also

clear that children verbal responses to emotionally evocative pictures are








similar to adults and that the Self-Assessment Mannequin is a useful measure
of children's verbal responses to pictures.

Physiological Response Patterns to Affective Stimuli
As pointed out earlier, bio-informational theory describes emotional
responding in terms of three output systems. Given that the verbal response
system shows similarity in children's and adults responses to affective pictures,

the next step is to investigate the physiological response system. There are a
number of consistent physiological changes associated with emotional states
and for most adults and children measurement of changes in heart rate, skin

conductance, and facial muscle activity have been a reliable indicator of
change in emotional state.
Physiological responses have been used in clinical research to assess
fear and anxiety. In adults, heart rate acceleration and increases in skin

conductance are associated with high fear states, such as phobia. For

example, Cook, Melamed, Cuthbert, McNeil, and Lang (1988) found that phobic

patients showed significant increases in heart rate and skin conductance when
imagining scenes related to their specific phobia.

This response pattern can be found in children, as well. In one study of

60 asthmatic children between 10 and 15 years old, significant heart rate
increases were found for both fear- and anger-related imagery. Children did

not show heart rate increases when imagining neutral scenes (Tal & Miklich,
1976). Melamed, Yurcheson, Fleece, Hutcherson, and Hawes (1978) found

that skin conductance increase during viewing of a video of a dental exam was
related to reported dental fears. These studies demonstrate that physiological
measures can index fear in adults and children.

A study of the relationship between physiological responses and the
emotional dimensions of valence and arousal for adults can be found in Lang et








al. (1993). Participants saw a series of color pictures while a variety of

responses were collected, sampling from all three response systems. Heart

rate, skin conductance, and corrugator and zygomatic EMG were all recorded.
Viewing time, interest ratings, and SAM ratings of pleasure and arousal were

also collected. Lang et al. found that corrugator EMG, zygomatic EMG, and
heart rate acceleration were all highly correlated with ratings of pleasure. It is

important to note here that, contrary to the clinical findings, unpleasant pictures

did not generate heart rate acceleration; rather, they generated strong

deceleration. This difference may be due to the fact that the pictures did not
include stimuli that were particularly relevant to specific fears of the participants,
as in the clinical studies. The two states may, therefore, have been qualitatively
different with clinically relevant stimuli provoking the defensive response

associated with high heart rate acceleration, and the nonclinical sample
showing greater orienting to the unpleasant pictures.

Skin conductance, on the other hand, was highly correlated with rated

arousal for both pleasant and unpleasant slides. Further, when the physiology
measures were combined with the ratings and viewing time measures in a

principal components analysis, two factors, accounting for 76 percent of the

variance, were derived. The first factor included pleasure ratings, corrugator

EMG, heart rate acceleration, and zygomatic EMG as variables with high factor
loadings. Arousal ratings, interest ratings, viewing time, and skin conductance
loaded onto factor 2.

These loadings support the findings of Greenwald, Cook, and Lang
(1989) and suggest that the dimensions of pleasure and arousal can
adequately describe the physiological responses to affective pictures. These
studies also show that facial muscle activity, heart rate, and skin conductance
are reliable measures of affective responses in the human.








Lang and his colleagues have also developed a methodology for
probing the emotional state of an individual at a discrete point in time (see Lang

et al., 1990). As described by Konorski (1967), an intense stimulus with rapid
onset (startle stimulus) elicits a defensive reaction In the context of the present
work, this defensive reflex is facilitated or diminished, depending on the
affective context in which the reflex is elicited. When a foreground stimulus is

unpleasant, matching the valence of the elicited startle, the startle is enhanced.
The converse is also true. If a subject views a pleasant picture, an elicited
startle is smaller than if the subject were viewing a unpleasant picture. By
using a startle probe to elicit an eyeblink, a person's motivational state can be
assessed.

Affective Modulation of the Human Startle Eyeblink

The startle probe is a physiological measure that has been particularly
useful in identifying the emotional state of individuals in the laboratory. A startle
probe, delivered during the processing of emotional material, elicits an eyeblink
that is modulated by the affective valence of the material being processed.

Specifically, an elicited eyeblink during the processing of unpleasant stimuli is

larger than an eyeblink elicited during exposure to pleasant stimuli.
An early study investigating the emotional modulation of the startle
response in adult humans was conducted by Vrana, Spence, and Lang (1988).

The authors predicted that unpleasant emotions would potentiate the startle
response and pleasant emotions would inhibit the startle response. The

methodology used in this study involved the presentation of slides varying in
emotional valence. Slides were chosen to represent a range of pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant scenes. As hypothesized, startle magnitude was
smallest for pleasant slides, larger for neutral slides, and largest for negative

slides. More recent studies have shown that the affective modulation of the






15
startle response is a robust phenomenon that is maintained as the startle reflex
habituates (Bradley, Lang, & Cuthbert, 1993) and can be used to explore the
time course in the development of emotional responses to slides (Bradley,
Cuthbert, & Lang, 1993).
A recent study extended the study of affective modulation of the startle
response to infants. Balaban (1995) used a picture methodology with 18 infants
(20 weeks old). In her study, pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant slides were
smiling, neutral, and angry adult faces, respectively. The startle probe was a 95
dB, 75 ms burst of white noise. Startle eyeblinks were scored off-line from EMG
activity of the orbicularis oculi. Scoring of eyeblinks quantified the size of the
blink and the latency of the reflex from probe onset. Infant facial expressions,
tongue protrusions, and motor activity were also coded. A supplemental group
of seven infants were run in a similar procedure, but saw only pleasant and
unpleasant faces.
The finding most relevant to the present study is that the magnitude of the
eyeblink reflex was the best measure of whether the infant was looking at a
pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant facial expression. Startle eyeblink magnitude

showed a strong linear relationship to pictured facial expression with 15 of the
original 18 infants showing larger startles to angry faces relative to smiling
faces. This pattern of startle modulation was true for the supplemental group,
also. None of the behavioral measures showed a significant relationship to the
valence of the picture. Results of this study reveal that infants, like adults,
display a significant linear trend in eyeblink magnitude with pleasant slides
inhibiting startles and unpleasant slides facilitating startles. Also, given that the
modulation of the startle response was the only measure that reliably
differentiated picture valence, it may be more sensitive to affective state than the
behavioral measures that were included in this study.








Research Questions

The present study investigates the pattern of responses, using a bio-

informational approach, in children and adolescents and the extent to which

these patterns are similar to the pattern seen in college undergraduates. The
primary aim of the present study is to determine if the picture viewing paradigm,
with its measures of verbal, behavioral, and physiological responses to

emotional stimuli, is one that can be used with children and adolescents. The

pattern of responses seen in undergraduate populations is well understood, so
if the same paradigm can be adapted for use with younger populations, then
what is known about adult responses can aid in the interpretation of results from
studies with children.
Affective judgments provide the basis for the analyses. Evidence from

the normative study shows that children's concept of pleasure and arousal, as

represented by SAM, is similar. The picture stimuli were selected to maximize
children's responses, but all age groups are expected to rate them similarly.
Participants judgments will be used to determine a progression along the
valence and arousal dimensions. The covariation between the cognitive

response system (affective judgments) and the physiological response system

will be tested using correlation and regression coefficients. Specifically, from

Lang et al. (1993), it is expected that pleasure ratings will be negatively related

to corrugator muscle activity and startle magnitude and positively related to

heart rate deceleration. Arousal ratings, on the other hand, are expected to
correspond with skin conductance.

Specific questions regarding how children and adolescents respond to
stimuli within a specific valence category include whether they demonstrate
increased activity of the corrugator muscle when viewing unpleasant material;

whether the younger participants exhibit heart rate acceleration to unpleasant








material, or an orienting response, as seen in young adults; and if skin
conductance responses of younger subjects are similar to those seen in college
undergraduates.
Given the similarity in facial expressions across age groups, it is
expected that children and adolescents will display greater corrugator muscle
EMG when viewing unpleasant pictures, relative to pleasant pictures. Previous
studies have demonstrated that children and adolescents show heart rate

changes comparable to those of adults in emotional settings. Children and
adolescents are expected, therefore, to show greater heart rate deceleration
when viewing unpleasant pictures relative to pleasant and neutral pictures.
Skin conductance is expected to vary with arousal. That is, high arousal slides,
regardless of valence, are hypothesized to be related to higher levels of skin
conductance in children and adolescents, as with adults. All of these
relationships are expected to hold for all age groups. Also, affective modulation
of the startle response has been demonstrated in adult and infant populations, it
is hypothesized that children and adolescents will show facilitation of the startle
reflex when elicited while viewing unpleasant pictures, relative to responses

while viewing pleasant pictures.

Changes in the level of arousal for pictures are hypothesized to be
reflected in changes in skin conductance, orbicularis oculi, and viewing time.

As seen previously in studies using young adults (Greenwald et al., 1989; Lang
et al., 1993), increases in skin conductance should be related to increases in
rated arousal. This relationship is also hypothesized for orbicularis oculi EMG
and viewing time measures. The outcome of this study, then, is expected to be
a variety of measures related to the affective dimensions of pleasure and
arousal. Developmental differences in these measures and their relationship to
affective dimensions will be explored.













METHOD

Subjects
Thirty children (15 female, 15 male) seven to ten years of age, 30

adolescents (15 male, 15 female) 12 to 15 years of age, and 30 undergraduates
(15 female, 15 male) from the University of Florida participated in this study.
Children and adolescents were recruited from Alachua County, Florida, through

a random sample of names drawn from the school district rolls. These children
received 10 dollars for their participation. The undergraduates were students in
an Introductory Psychology course who fulfilled a class requirement for their

participation. One subject, a seven-year-old male, withdrew from the
experiment saying he was bored. One seven-year-old male was dropped from

the final analysis because he did not stay on task, as determined by
observation.

Apparatus and Response Measurement
The timing, stimulus control, and data acquisition of experimental events
was controlled by a Northgate 486 computer. Slide duration was controlled by

a Gerbrands electronic shutter. Slides were projected onto a white matte

screen approximately 2 m. in front of the participants by a Kodak Ektagraphic III
slide projector. Startle stimuli were 95 dB bursts (50 ms) of white noise

produced by a Coulbourn Noise Generator and presented binaurally through
headphones. The noise was calibrated using a Quest model 1700 precision
impulse sound level meter.

The startle eyeblink reflex was measured by recording
electromyographic (EMG) activity over the orbicularis oculi region under the left








eye with Sensor Medic miniature Ag/AgCI surface electrodes (see Lang et al.,
1990). The raw EMG signal was amplified (x30000) using a Coulbourn
Bioamplifier, and bandpass filtered with a low cutoff of 90 Hz and a high cutoff of

250 Hz and digitally sampled at 20 Hertz (Hz) until a startle probe was
delivered. The amplified and filtered signal was rectified and integrated using a
Coulbourn Contour-Following Integrator with a time constant of 125 ms. This
signal was digitally sampled at 1000 Hz from 50 ms before startle probe onset

until 250 ms after probe onset.
Corrugator activity was measured by recording EMG activity over the left

corrugator muscle region with Sensor Medics miniature Ag/AgCI surface
electrodes filled with electrolyte. The raw EMG signal was amplified (x30,000)
using a Coulbourn Bioamplifier, and bandpass filtered with a low cutoff of 90 Hz
and a high cutoff of 1000 Hz. The amplified and filtered signal was rectified and
integrated using a Coulbourn Contour-Following Integrator with a time constant
of 500 ms.

Heart rate was measured from sensors attached to the left forearm and
right collarbone of participants, amplified by a Coulbourn amplifier. The output

of the amplifier was fed into a Schmidt trigger which detected R-waves and sent

a signal to the Northgate computer. Interbeat intervals were recorded as the
time between R-waves to the nearest millisecond. Heart rate was then
calculated off-line following Graham (1980).

Skin conductance was transduced with Sensor Medic standard
electrodes filled with a .05 Molar Unibase cream electrolyte (Fowles, Christie,
Edelberg, Grings, Lykken, & Venables, 1981) affixed to the hypothenar
eminence of the left palm. A Coulbourn skin conductance coupler maintained a
constant voltage (.5 volts) across electrodes. The analog signal was digitally
sampled at 20 Hz.








Viewing time was counted to the nearest millisecond and recorded by an
IBM XT computer. The same computer presented the Self-Assessment Manikin

(Lang, 1980) and recorded valence, arousal, and dominance ratings. Ratings
were on a scale from 0 to 20 and a joystick was used to manipulate the SAM

figure.

Stimulus Materials
Stimuli were selected from a set of 60 pictures previously rated on the
dimensions of pleasure, arousal, and dominance. Stimuli were selected on the
basis of their overall ratings, across age groups, in order to find a set of stimuli

that would provoke strong emotions in all age groups. Twenty-seven of the
original pictures were selected, nine that were high on both pleasure and
arousal (pleasant), nine that were low on pleasure, but high on arousal
(unpleasant), and nine that were in the center of the pleasure scale and low in
arousal (neutral). All pictures were within ethical standards for eliciting emotion
in children. Figures 4, 5, and 6 show the normative ratings for the slides used in

the present study for children, adolescents, and adults, respectively.

Procedure
Participants came to the laboratory and were seated in a comfortable
waiting room where the procedure was explained and informed consent

obtained. For children, the procedure was explained to them while their parent

was present. After obtaining informed consent from subjects and their parents

(for children and adolescents), participants were led into a small (3.0 x 2.4 m)
sound-attenuated room and seated in a reclining chair. Skin conductance
sensors were placed on the palm of the left hand of the participant after
cleaning the palm with water. The left forearm and right collarbone were

prepared by scrubbing the sites with an alcohol pad, and then the heart rate

sensors were attached. Corrugator and orbicularis oculi sites were prepared






21





Children

SMales o o
o Females : o N
8- I 1


7-

0 N
6- o0m

g 5. ---^------------(-b-------r-------



1 2 3 4 -
0

3. I 0
O




1 I I l ,
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Arousal
Figure 4. Children's pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures in
the normative study






22





Adolescents
9
SMales o
8 0 Females o o



0
6- 0


S5.--o. 0o--------I-----------------

I 0
4-


3- 0
I O

2- 0 (D



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Arousal
Figure 5. Adolescents' pleasure and arousal ratings of affective
pictures in the normative study.













Young Adults
9 o,
Males 0o
o Females o
80
8- I o
8- 0 0



,
ID
o o ,
7-i


6- o


5- ,-------------


4- 0o a

3- 0I

0
2- o
I o
0
0
1 ,i ,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Arousal
Figure 6. Young adults' pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures
in the normative study.






24

with Omniprep and the sensors were then attached. Finally, headphones were

placed on the participants. Parents were allowed in the room during this part of

the procedure if the child or parent requested.
The lights were dimmed and participants were instructed to watch the
slides the entire time they were on the screen (6 s) and to keep their movements
to a minimum. Parents, if present, were then asked to return to the waiting
room. The experimenter left the room and subjects were given two minutes to

adjust to the new light level before the first slide was presented. Each
participant saw 27 slides in one of three possible slide orders. Orders were
randomly generated with the constraints that each of three groups of nine slides
(one third) was presented in the first, second, and last block across the three
orders, and each group of three slides (nine groups) contained a pleasant,

unpleasant, and neutral slide. Data collection began six seconds before slide
onset and continued for six seconds after slide offset. The amount of time
between slides varied from 12 to 30 seconds. A startle probe was delivered

randomly between 2.8 and 5.5 seconds into the slide viewing period of each
slide. There were also six startle probes delivered between slides, the first one

delivered before the first slide was presented.

Following the picture trials, the sensors were removed and the

participants were given an opportunity to stretch. Older participants,

adolescents and undergraduates also completed the EASI temperament

questionnaire at this time. This questionnaire was filled out by the parents of
the young children.

Participants were then instructed on how to use a joystick to control the
amount of time they viewed a slide, and the SAM rating procedure (see
Appendix B for specific instructions given). There were two neutral practice

slides presented to ensure that each participant understood that he or she could








view each slide for as long as he or she wished (up to 30s maximum) before
making his or her ratings. The slides were then presented in the same order as
before, and pleasure, arousal, and dominance ratings (always in that order)
were made for each slide. At the end of the procedure, participants were
debriefed and received their compensation.
Physiological Data Reduction and Analysis
Average values for each half-second of data collection were computed.
EMG activity during slide viewing was converted to change from baseline
scores. Pictures were ordered by increasing ratings on pleasure and arousal
and a subjects were averaged within ranks across physiological measure to
produce an average response at each level of pleasure and arousal. Also, an
average over the entire slide viewing period was obtained and then the data
were averaged within subject over all slides of a given valence. The result was
a mean EMG activity during the six second slide period for each valence
category for each subject. Heart rate change from baseline was computed in
the same manner as corrugator, as was skin conductance.
Startle responses were scored off-line for magnitude of change from
baseline, latency from probe to the beginning of the eyeblink response, latency
from the beginning of the response to the peak of the response, and the
baseline orbicularis oculi activity before the probe was delivered.













RESULTS
Affective Ratings
Comparison Between Normative and Laboratory Results
Figures 7, 8, and 9 show the location of each slide in the space defined

by pleasure and arousal ratings in the present study for children, adolescents,
and adults, respectively. Dominance, as found previously in children and
adults, was highly correlated with pleasure (r=.91; g<.01 ) and did not account
for a significant amount of variance independent of pleasure ratings. Therefore,
dominance is not included in the present discussion. The IAPS slides used in

this study, their description, normative ratings, and the ratings from the present
study are listed in appendix C.
Looking at the graphic representation of the affective space filled by the
pictures used in this study and comparing them to normative ratings of the same
pictures (see figures 4, 5, and 6 for children, adolescents, and adults,

respectively) it is clear that the location in affective space did not remain stable,

particularly for the youngest age group. Keeping in mind that the normative

ratings had a scale of 1 to 9 and the laboratory ratings are on a scale from 0 to
20, it appears that young children did not find the unpleasant pictures as

arousing as their peers who were used in the normative study. This is
confirmed by looking at the correlations. Notice in table 1 that all the
correlations between normative and laboratory pleasure ratings are above .90,
but the correlations between normative and laboratory arousal ratings drops

below .80 for female children and down to .50 for male children.






27






20 0 0-
a Males o Pi o
18 O Females IN,


16 b


14 9
0
12 0oo

w10 -- ------------------- L---- -------------------------------
,B0 0

iN 0 0
8 ""
8


6


4 0o 0
0 o
2 0

00oo
0 ...... I I o. .--
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Arousal
Figure 7. Children's pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures in the
laboratory.






28






20

i Males o
18 0 Females o o


16 o
0
14 b


12 N
0


oo
0ill
I 10 ------ -- -------- --------



S0o

o0
4 8
0 0
o
2 o
0
0

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Arousal
Figure 8. Adolescents' pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures in the
laboratory.
















I Males
o Females


0
0

*.


o
o0
0 IM


20


18


16


14


12


10
CL


o'



Or


cP

0


i i I I. i i I i i I
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Arousal
9. Young adult's pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures in the
ory.


.I ---- ---oi- -------- --
0 o

*


Figure
laborat










Table 1. Correlations between normative and laboratory settings for rated
pleasure and arousal.


Pleasure
Males Females

.93 .98
.91 .99
.91 .96


Arousal
Males Females
.50 .79

.94 .93
.86 .91


Table 2. Correlations between Pleasure and Arousal Ratings in the Normative
Study and the Laboratory Study.


Normative

ILQU Males Females
Children -.26 -.07
Adolescents .04 -.24

Adults .08 -.23

Note: *p<.05; ***p<001


Laboratory
Males Females
.73"* .44*


Analysis of Laboratory Ratings

Pleasure ratings. Table 3 shows that females consistently rated
unpleasant pictures more aversive than did males across age groups, resulting

in a significant interaction between gender and valence in pleasure ratings, E(2,

83) = 7.97; p <.001, in the overall, with post hoc analyses confirming that

females rated unpleasant pictures as less pleasant than males. Differences in
the way different age groups rated the pictures, E(2, 83) = 5.22; P < .001, may

reflect some age related biases in specific preferences of items and events
depicted in the pictures. Post hoc analyses, with Bonferoni corrections for

multiple comparisons, confirmed that children rated the pleasant slides as more


Group

Children

Adolescents
Adults








pleasant than adolescents and adults. Also, for neutral pictures, adolescents
rated them as less pleasant than did adults, but not children. For unpleasant

pictures, there were no age differences.

Table 3. Mean pleasure ratings for each valence category of affective pictures
for males and females participating in the present study.

Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children 17.30 9.90 5.57 19.21 11.44 2.74
Adolescents 16.18 9.09 7.98 16.64 9.87 3.96
Adults 15.87 10.56 5.38 16.04 10.50 3.63

Totals 16.45 9.85 6.31 17.29 10.60 3.44


Arousal ratings. Looking at arousal ratings within each valence category,
there was a difference in the way males and females rated arousal, E(1, 84) =
4.52; 1 < .04. Females rated all valence categories higher in arousal than
males. Table 4 gives the means for each valence category by age group and

gender. Notice that both males and females in the youngest age group rated
unpleasant pictures less arousing than adults or adolescents.
Mean arousal ratings for each valence category demonstrated the same
relationships as did the dimensional correlations. That is, children's arousal
ratings were different than adult's and adolescent's. Figure 10 gives each age
levels' mean arousal rating for each valence category. There was an
interaction between age and picture valence, E(4, 166) = 6.94; 1 < .01. Post hoc
analyses revealed no differences between adults and adolescents, and
children different from both at each valence category.








Table 4. Mean arousal ratings for each valence category of affective pictures
for males and females participating the present study.

Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children 14.74 7.02 9.77 15.99 7.69 12.28

Adolescents 11.67 4.63 14.12 13.90 5.86 14.81
Adults 12.63 5.30 14.78 11.16 6.25 15.66

Totals 13.01 5.65 12.89 13.68 6.60 14.25

Relationship between pleasure and arousal ratings. Previous studies
with college undergraduates have show the pleasure and arousal dimensions
to be orthogonal (Lang & Greenwald, 1988; Lang, Greenwald, & Bradley, 1988;

Lang, Greenwald, & Bradley, 1990). This was true for younger populations, as
well, in the normative study. Looking back at table 2, the correlation between

pleasure and arousal was not significant for any group in the normative study,
but both male and female children show a significant positive correlation
between pleasure and arousal ratings in the laboratory. This means that

pleasant pictures were rated more arousing than unpleasant pictures for

children, but the opposite relationship holds for young female adults. The

strong positive correlation between pleasure and arousal indicates that children

considered the unpleasant pictures as unpleasant, but did not find them

arousing. Figure 7 shows that male children only rated two unpleasant pictures
as both unpleasant (pleasure < 10) and arousing (arousal > 10). Looking at
figure 9, young women rated all of the unpleasant slides as unpleasant and

arousing.
Children's pleasure and arousal ratings. Comparing the relationship
between arousal and valence category across the laboratory and normative








settings, the difference in children's ratings becomes even more clear. Looking
at table 5 for the normative ratings, there is a clear pattern of rating unpleasant
slides more arousing than pleasant slides. This is true for all age and gender
groups. However, in the laboratory setting, the children, and only the children,
rate the unpleasant pictures less arousing than the pleasant pictures.

Table 5. Normative arousal ratings of affective pictures used in the present
study.
Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children 5.74 2.96 7.03 6.50 5.67 6.91
Adolescents 5.90 2.59 6.52 5.28 2.72 6.43
Adults 4.57 2.63 5.52 5.61 2.77 7.25


Ratings-Physiology Covariation Analysis
Covariation refers to the relationship affective judgments have to specific
physiological responses. That is, affective ratings are hypothesized to covary
with physiological measures of emotion. To investigate this, ratings on a given
dimension were rank ordered within each subject, following Lang et al. (1993).
After sorting each participants' ratings of slides, a rank is given to each slide
from lowest (1) to highest (27) for each participant. On the arousal dimension,
for example, the most arousing picture for each participant is given a rank of 27,
the second most arousing picture receives a rank of 26, and so on. The specific
picture ranked most arousing is likely to be different across subjects, but for
each subject, their highest rated picture will get a rank of 27. Responses for
subject's lowest and highest (and everything in between) ranked pictures are
averaged for each age group and gender. This gives an average response at








18


16.


14. \ ,

+ /s
4 A,/
12 \
0) I \













W \\ Adults
10 ''
\
8 )\ \






-o- Children
4 ----+--- Adolescents
-- Adults



Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Figure 10. Mean arousal rating for picture valence categories by age group.

different levels (1 through 27) of the affective dimension (pleasure or arousal).

A mean rating for each rank is also computed. Getting the mean rating for each

rank keeps the ratio properties of the scale. The mean physiological response

is then plotted by the mean rating for each rank (27 pairs of numbers). The

highest rank for each participant, therefore, will coincide with the highest rating

on the specific dimension and should coincide with the largest physiological

response. The physiological response can then be ordered along increasing

levels of the affective dimension and changes in the magnitude of the response

can be seen.








Corrugator Activity
Figure 11 represent the increase in corrugator activity as pleasure ratings
increase. The pleasure rating is the mean pleasure rating for each rank. Each
line is the regression line and the correlation coefficient between the corrugator
response and pleasure ratings appears in the legend for both genders at each
age level. As expected, corrugator muscle activity decreases for males and
females in all three age groups as pleasure increases. This relationship is
statistically significant (2 < .05) for all age and gender groups except male
children. There were 11 children (out of 30) who had significant negative within
subject correlations (r => .38), 9 adolescents (out of 30), and 11 young adults
(out of 30).
Skin Conductance
As found in previous studies using college undergraduates (Lang et al.,
1993), there is an increase in skin conductance as rated arousal increases.
Figure 12 displays the relationship for each gender and age group. The
increase in skin conductance is significantly (p < .05) related to increases in
arousal ratings for females at each age level and approaches significance for
adolescent males (p < .07). Only one child, no adolescents, and 1 adult had a
significant (r => .38) within subject correlation between rated arousal and
changes in skin conductance.
Heart Rate
There was little relationship between heart rate and either rated pleasure
or arousal. The relationship with pleasure is shown in figure 13. When
analyzed by gender and age group, only adolescent females show a significant
effect, E(1,25) = 12.19; p<.01, but children and adolescents of both genders








Adults

-- Males r= -.61
-e- Females r= -.70








o Q o



0
a'~:LOn


-3 -3 -3
0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20
Subjects' Ratings Subjects' Ratings Subjects' Ratings
Figure 11. The relationship between changes in corrugator activity and subjects' own pleasure ratings.









0.4 Children

Males r=.18
SFemales r= .30


0.3.



0




o
06
0.2.




on
o a



0.0 0
ON
0.0
c


Adolescents

-*- Males r= .34
-o- Females r= .30


o

0
0
o


0

o o
man




0 0.
0
O o
c* **


O
0 0


Adults

- Males r= .27
Females r= .57

0 00
ca


0
0
% / 0



SO,' 0
0 0






)ON
0
0
o o


-0.1 .. -0.1 I 1-0.1 .
0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20
Subject's Ratings Subject's Ratings Subject's Ratings
Figure 12. The relationship between changes in skin conductance and subjects' own arousal ratings.









Children


Adolescents

-- Males r=.20

-- Females r= .56






o
00/; 0
0 o 0 e
So 0


.0
0


.0


.c o
E

I(

-2 .




0
-4





-6-
0

Figure 13.


Adults

Male r= .05
Female r= -.23




0 0
0
0 0





0 0
00

0 o
0
-,* 0


-uI
I I I i -0 1 I 1 i
5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20
Subject's Ratings Subject's Ratings Subject's Ratings
The relationship between changes in heart rate and subjects' own pleasure ratings.








Children

-- Males R=.19
- Females R= -.21


400 o0


0 0


*a


S O


o o0

U-
U


100 ,


500 Adolescents
"* Males R= .07
Females R=-.12


400. .


.



300 o0

---- A *
0 o


~b o
200 o 00 q


100


Adults

-* Males R=-.14
o Females R= -.12






N


oNo o




O 0
o
*


L


0 5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20 0
Subjects' Ratings Subjects' Ratings
Figure 14. The relationship between startle magnitude and subject's own pleasure ratings.


o

5 10 15 20
Subjects' Ratings


(n

S300






200


I


1








show an upward trend, indicating that as pictures become unpleasant, heart

rate deceleration increases. This relationship does not appear when looking at

data from the adults participating in this study, but has been seen in a number of
other studies (Greenwald et al., 1989; Lang et al., 1990; Lang et al., 1993).

Startle Magnitude
No age group showed a significant relationship between rated pleasure

and startle magnitude. Looking at figure 14, however, some interesting points
should be noted. In children, males and females show opposite relationships

between rated pleasure and startle magnitude. By adolescence, this gender
difference has decreased, and the young adult participants show no gender
difference in their responses. What makes this more interesting is that females
at all age levels show the expected negative relationship between startle
magnitude and rated pleasure. Males, however, show a positive relationship in
children, moving to a negative relationship in young adults.

Startle magnitude was related to arousal in adult women, but this may be
due to the negative correlation this group had between pleasure and arousal
ratings (see table 2). Baseline orbicularis oculi activity showed no relationship

to pleasure or arousal.

Analysis of Physiological Responses by Affective Categories
Affective categories are based on normative ratings of slide valence.

Each slide was classified as either pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant. The same

slides fall into the same categories for each age and gender group. Responses,
therefore, are to a given set of stimuli of a particular valence category.

Corrugator Activity
A MANOVA with sex and age group was done. There was a significant

interaction between valence and gender, F(2,83)=3.28; D=.04, with females
showing more modulation of facial EMG than males. Specifically, females,









1.00


0.75


0.50


0.25


0.00-


o -0.25


-0.50
Males
SFemales
-0.75


-1.00
Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant

Figure 15. Gender differences in corrugator muscle activity while
viewing pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.


when compared to males, showed less activity in the corrugator muscle when
viewing pleasant pictures, as presented in figure 15. There was also a main

effect, E(2, 83)=19.34; 1<.001, for valence. There were no interactions with age

group.

Independent MANOVAs were done separately for each age group.

Statistically significant differences in corrugator activity while viewing






42
unpleasant versus pleasant pictures was obtained for all age groups (see figure
16a). Analysis of children's corrugator responses revealed a main effect for
valence, F(2,27)=10.91; 2<.01, and a significant interaction between valence
and gender, E(2,27)=3.63; e=.04. As seen in table 6, both male and female
children exhibited the same pattern of responding, but females showed greater
modulation of the corrugator response. For adolescents, there was also
significantly more corrugator activity while viewing unpleasant versus pleasant
pictures, E(2,27)=6.92; p<.01. There was, however, no interaction between
gender and picture valence. Finally, undergraduates also demonstrated
affective modulation of their corrugator response, F(2,27)=8.23; p<.01, and as
with adolescents there was no interaction between picture valence and gender
in their corrugator response. All age groups showed differences in corrugator
responses to pleasant versus unpleasant slides, but no differences between
neutral and unpleasant, for both genders.


Table 6. Mean change in corrugator activity (in volts) during slide viewing for
pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.


Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children -.16 .24 .50 -.91 1.10 1.50
Adolescents -.26 .44 .52 -.78 .44 .32
Adults .02 .43 .35 -.15 .28 .43


Skin Conductance
There was a significant main effect of picture valence, E(2,83)=10.26;
2<.01, in skin conductance change. As with the covariation analysis, there was
an increase in skin conductance associated with viewing unpleasant pictures.






43
There were no interactions between valence and gender or age group. There

was, however, a significant gender effect, E(1,84)=7.06; 2=.01, with females

having larger skin conductance increases, relative to males, for all three

valence categories.

Analysis of children's responses did not show a main effect for valence,

but there was a significant main effect for gender, F(1,28)=5.22; 2=.02. Table 7

indicates that females had higher skin conductance levels, overall. There was a

significant main effect of valence for adolescents, F(2,27)=3.74; 1=.04, as well

as adults, F(2,27)=5.70; p=.01. There were no significant interactions for any

age group. Figure 16b reveals the nature of the relationship between valence

and skin conductance change, with adolescents and young adults showing

greater increases in skin conductance for unpleasant slides relative to pleasant

and neutral pictures. Children's skin conductance changed in the same

direction as the other age groups, but the differences were not significant.

Table 7. Mean change in skin conductance (in pmhos) during slide viewing for
pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.

Males Females

Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children .05 .02 .05 .09 .13 .20

Adolescents .03 .03 .08 .05 .05 .08

Adults .03 .08 .11 .10 .11 .23


Heart Rate
There was a significant interaction between age group and picture

valence, E(2,83)=2.38; p=.05. As seen in figure 16c, this is due to college

undergraduates showing more heart rate deceleration to the pleasant slides

while children and adolescents exhibit more deceleration to unpleasant slides.






44
There was a significant main effect of picture valence, E(2,83)=4.70; 1=.01, with

greater deceleration occurring in the context of unpleasant, compared to
pleasant, pictures.
The test of the separate developmental groups helps to clarify the
interaction between age group and valence. Independent MANOVAs for each

age group. Analysis of children's heart rate revealed more deceleration to
unpleasant material relative to pleasant material (linear trend), F(1,28)=6.46;
p=.02. The adolescents show a similar pattern, with unpleasant slides showing
significantly more deceleration than pleasant slides (linear trend), E(1,28)=8.99;
p=.01. There was no significant effect of valence in heart rate for
undergraduates. None of the age groups demonstrated any differences
between genders.

Table 8. Mean change in heart rate (in beats per minute) during slide viewing
for pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.

Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children -.80 -1.79 -2.55 -1.25 -1.54 -2.42

Adolescents -.86 -1.42 -1.79 .09 -.76 -2.14
Adults -1.68 -.98 -1.36 -1.33 -1.02 -.85


Startle Modulation

A multivariate analysis of the full sample revealed a marginally significant
difference as a function of picture valence, E(2,83)=3.08; c<.06. The linear
trend was significant, E(1,84)=4.73; p<.04, indicating that startles elicited while
viewing unpleasant pictures were larger than startles elicited while subjects
viewed pleasant pictures. There were no significant main effects for age or

gender, nor any interactions with valence.








Change in Corrugator Muscle
Activity


1.25 -

1.00-

0.75 -

0.50-

S0.25 -

0.00

-0.25 -

-0.50-

-0.75 -


Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant


Change in Heart


Change in Skin
Conductance


0.16-


0.14-


0.12-
c,
C
E 0.10-


" 0.08-


0.06-


0.04.


0.02


Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant


Startle Magnitude


S225


200


175.


s '
I--.
-*-'


Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Figure 16. Psychophysiological measures for each valence category by age group.


N-




*........./








Separate MANOVAs for each age group indicated no significant main
effect for valence in any age group. However, the adults showed a significant
linear effect of valence, E(1,28)=5.78; 2<.03, and children had a significant
interaction between gender and valence in the linear trend, E(1,28)=4.87;
2<.04. The top row of table 9 reveals that while females in the youngest age
group showed the expected relationship between valence and startle, males in
this age group exhibited the opposite effect. This confirms the observations
from the covariation analysis.

Table 9. Startle magnitude (A/D units) during slide viewing for pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant pictures.

Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children 188.0 163.3 152.8 274.2 278.3 310.7
Adolescents 339.9 315.6 333.7 251.4 241.9 262.1
Adults 195.9 233.1 234.9 184.8 158.9 203.1


Baseline orbicularis oculi activity

Baseline levels of orbicularis oculi EMG activity were analyzed using a
MANOVA, as well. Table 10 gives the mean baseline levels, which reveal that
adults showed much less baseline activity across gender and picture valence,
relative to children and adolescents. Notice that all male groups and adult
females showed a quadratic pattern of orbicularis oculi activity. That is, EMG
activity during viewing of pleasant and unpleasant pictures is greater, relative to
neutral pictures. There was a significant linear effect of valence, E(1,84)=10.07;
p<.01, with more activity during pleasant pictures. There was also a significant
quadratic effect of valence, E(1,84)=21.95; p<.001, indicating muscle activity
during both pleasant and unpleasant pictures was greater than activity during








neutral picture viewing. Females exhibited higher levels of orbicularis oculi
activity, E(1,84)=6.55; 2<.02, and children showed the highest levels of activity
(see figure 17), E(2,84)=7.07; p<.01. The interaction between gender and age
was also significant, F(2,84)=3.86; 2<.03,, with female children showing the
highest level of activity. There were no interactions with valence.
Given the relationship between orbicularis oculi activity and picture
valence, further analysis of the startle magnitude was conducted. Analysis of
covariance (ANCOVA) was performed using the baseline EMG activity for
pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant as separate covariates. The adjusted means
for each age group are shown in figure 18. In this analysis, there was a
significant effect of valence for the overall sample, F(1,83)=6.51; p<.02,
indicating that the relationship between startle and picture valence was
independent of the baseline differences. There was no effect for gender or age,
and no interactions.
The two other measures derived from the startle response, onset latency
and peak latency, showed no significant difference.

Table 10. Orbicularis oculi activity (A/D units) during slide viewing for pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant pictures.

Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children 208.6 173.8 190.1 369.4 306.2 293.3
Adolescents 266.7 222.2 252.4 251.7 200.4 225.2
Adults 131.3 117.8 131.9 198.0 182.2 188.6


Viewing time
In studies with adult populations, viewing time has corresponded with
arousal ratings, with pleasant and unpleasant pictures being looked at equally








long, but longer than neutral. In the present study, the quadratic trend, testing

pleasant and unpleasant versus neutral, was significant, F(1, 84) = 4.77; 2 = .03,

indicating that participants liked to look at both pleasant and unpleasant picture

more than neutral pictures. Further investigation, however, reveals that it is

unpleasant pictures that are looked at longer than both pleasant and neutral,

significantly so for adults.


131 1 1


225-


200-
o 200


Pleasant


Neutral


Unpleasant


Figure 17. Baseline levels of orbicularis oculi activity
while viewing pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.


n-9- Childn
--*--Adole
----- Young






' o o---


en
scents
Adults


UuW









































- Children
..-*..-- Adolescents

Young Adults


Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Figure 18. Startle magnitude adjusted for baseline orbicularis oculi activity prior
to the startle probe.








When considering each age group separately, a significant gender
difference, E(1,28) = 11.12; p < .01, was found in children, with females looking
at the pictures significantly longer than males. There was no valence effect and
no interactions. Adolescents showed no valence differences or any
interactions. Young adults viewed unpleasant pictures longer than pleasant or
neutral, F(2,27) = 5.56; p = .01. A post hoc analysis confirms this observation,

1(29) = 2.55; p < .02. Table 10 gives the means for each age group. The bottom
row of numbers gives the mean viewing time for undergraduates, and
demonstrates that they looked at pleasant and unpleasant pictures longer
relative to neutral pictures, F(1, 28) = 5.16; 2 < .04.


Table 11. Mean viewing time for pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.

Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children 4.00 3.55 4.08 5.78 5.31 5.44
Adolescents 4.65 4.27 5.80 5.32 5.63 5.41
Adults 5.18 4.60 6.04 4.80 4.77 5.23











DISCUSSION
This study was a first effort at extending to younger populations a
methodology frequently used to study emotions in adults. Ratings on two
emotional dimensions were found to be related to physiological and behavioral
measures. Specifically, pleasure was related to corrugator EMG activity when
examined with respect to either the subjects' own pleasure ratings or a priori
valence classifications. Also, changes in skin conductance were related to
subjects' own ratings of arousal, as expected. Heart rate was sensitive to
picture valence when looked at by a prior categories, but not by subjects' own
ratings. Startle magnitude was only a weak indicator of the affective content of

pictures, but in the overall sample, startles elicited while participants viewed
unpleasant pictures were larger than those elicited during viewing of pleasant
pictures. There were interesting interactions between gender, age, and picture
valence affecting the magnitude of the startle reflex. These are the issues that
loom largest in the present study, indicating that the picture paradigm and

startle probe may be useful in the investigation of emotional development and
may be sensitive to gender difference in the development of emotional
responding.
Looking across age groups, in one form or another, all of the measures
reflected changes as a function of picture content. Utilizing a priori valence
categorization, corrugator EMG, skin conductance change, heart rate, startle
magnitude, baseline orbicularis oculi EMG, and viewing time all differentiated
pleasant from unpleasant pictures. Baseline orbicularis oculi EMG and viewing
time reflected differences due to the arousal associated with valence
categories. These differences are consistent with Lang et al. (1993) and







support the idea that affective responses are fundamentally organized by the
dimensions of pleasure and arousal.

Stimulus Selection. Categorization, and Judgments of Characteristics
It is a difficult task to find pictures that reliably elicit similar emotional
states in children as young as seven years of age and adults in their twenties.
While an effort was made to select stimuli that would work across the age range,
affective judgments and physiological responses indicate that for some groups,
especially male children, this effort was not successful. In previous research
using college undergraduates, much more arousing affective material was used
(Bradley, Lang, & Cuthbert, 1993; Cuthbert et al., in press; Lang et al., 1993;
Simons & Zelson, 1985). Pleasant pictures used for adults include erotica and
sexually explicit pictures. Unpleasant pictures include mutilated human faces
and bodies, as well as disgusting pictures of filth and squalor. The school
administrators who provided subjects for the standardization sample ruled that
this material was outside the bounds of what is appropriate for children
Finding appropriate material clearly presents a problem for experiments
involving affective modulation of the startle reflex. Cuthbert et al. (in press)

show that strong affective modulation of the startle reflex is found only at high
levels of arousal, and falls off rapidly as arousal diminishes. In order to
compare how pictures used in the present study compare to pictures used in
previous studies, table 11 shows the mean normative pleasure and arousal
ratings for pleasant and unpleasant pictures used in the present study and in
the moderate and high arousal pictures in the Cuthbert et al. (in press) study.
This table shows that the pictures used in the present study are similar in
pleasure and arousal to the pictures used for the moderate arousal set by
Cuthbert et al. While the ratings of pleasure do not differ significantly, the
ratings of arousal are significantly higher (one-tailed test) for the high arousal






53
set used by Cuthbert et al., t(12) = -5.66; p < .001, for pleasant pictures and t(12)

= -1.79; p < .05, for unpleasant pictures.


Table 11. Mean pleasure and arousal ratings for pleasant and unpleasant
pictures used in the present study and the moderate and high arousal pictures
used in Cuthbert et al. (in press).

Pleasant Unpleasant

Picture Set Pleasure Arousal Pleasure Arousal

Present Study 7.53 4.87 2.70 6.59

Moderate Arousal 7.50 5.54 2.73 6.30

High Arousal 7.64 6.93 2.16 7.07


Since the pictures used in the present study are not high in arousal, they

did not generate high levels of arousal in subjects, as indicated by their ratings

and skin conductance responses. As a result, there was less modulation of the
physiological responses, producing low correlation coefficients. Corrugator

activity is a notable exception, showing large changes in activity for pleasant

and unpleasant pictures, as well as significant covariation between ratings and

muscle activity.

On the other hand, the pictures used in this study were previously rated

as more highly arousing by participants in a separate normative study than they

were in the present study. It is not clear why children did not rate them as

arousing in this study. One possibility is simply that these participants are

different than those participating in the normative rating study. Another

possibility is that the settings for the normative study and the present study were

different. The normative study was conducted in a classroom with groups of

children while the present study had individual subjects rate the pictures. Facial

expressions are effective communicators of emotional state (Izard, 1991) and








children showed strong corrugator responses to the pictures in the present
study. There are also a number of studies showing that children are sensitive to
non-vocal verbal cues of emotion (Fernald, 1991; Fernald, 1993). The group
setting, therefore, may have offered children with strong reactions to the
affective pictures an opportunity to communicate their reactions, resulting in
higher affective ratings for the pictures.

Adolescents and adults, however, rated the pictures in the present study
in the same way as participants in the normative study. Children were also
consistent across studies in their ratings of pleasure and dominance. It is only
children's arousal ratings that were inconsistent. This issue is discussed further
in the context of other emotional responses in the following section.
Development of Responses to Affective Pictures
The bio-informational approach sets forth three response systems that,
taken together, describe the emotional response of the individual. The present
study measured responses in each of these systems in order to determine if the
picture paradigm is an effective method of investigating emotional development.
When measures for each age group are looked at in terms of a complete

system, it indicates that the picture viewing paradigm is, indeed, a useful
method of investigating emotional development. Issues regarding gender
differences that arise from this investigation also become clear as each age
group is considered separately. Age and gender interact with picture valence in
a complex pattern of affective responding within this paradigm.
Children's Responses to Affective Pictures
Looking first at children's affective judgments of emotional pictures, it is
clear that the stimuli in this study did not get the expected ratings. Particularly,
the unpleasant pictures were not rated as high in arousal as expected, given
the data from the normative study. While unexpected, there are a few possible








explanations. First, since the ratings in the present study are based on a
relatively small number of subjects. The ratings in this study may simply reflect

normal variance in ratings, with a small sample giving low arousal ratings to
these particular pictures.
Alternatively, it may be that, unlike adults, SAM as represented on the

computer is different for children than the paper-and-pencil version used in the
normative study. Specifically, the arousal dimension on the computer involves
a picture of SAM that stands still with eyes closed at the lowest point, and as
rated arousal increases, the figure's eyes begin to open and there is movement
in it's center. Beyond the half way point of the scale, SAM's eyes are fully open,

the movement in the center increases, and the figure begins to jump up and
down on the screen. At the highest rating, the figure is jumping up and down
rapidly and there is a great deal of movement in it's center. That is, there are

two sources of animation that increase as ratings increase in the arousal rating
used on the computer: SAM jumps up and down and there is activity in SAM's
midsection. This active figure is very different than the motionless version used
in the normative study (see figure 1). This difference could account for the

differences in judgments found between the two studies.

Looking at children's physiological and behavioral responses as a
function of arousal, it is not clear that for male children, the unpleasant pictures

elicited the anticipated response. There is little change in skin conductance or

viewing time when male children viewed unpleasant pictures, and the startle
responses to probes during unpleasant pictures were not as expected.
However, heart rate, corrugator, and baseline orbicularis oculi activity showed

change related to unpleasant pictures. Female children show physiological
responses consistent with unpleasant and arousing pictures, but also rated the

unpleasant pictures lower in arousal than did their peers in the normative study.






56
The present study does not have the same subjects using both ratings methods
and therefore cannot resolve this issue. However, as will be discussed in a
later section, this issue can be resolved in future studies.
Physiological responses of children reflect varying levels of consistency
across genders with affective ratings, as well. The consistent gender difference
is always in favor of female children showing greater modulation in the
predicted direction. Changes in corrugator muscle activity covaried with ratings
of pleasure for female children, but not for males. Female, but not male
children, also showed a relationship between rated arousal and skin
conductance. While heart rate and startle magnitude were not related to
children's pleasure ratings, other relationships emerged when a priori valence
categories, based on normative ratings were used to organize the stimuli.
There was significantly more heart rate deceleration during viewing of
unpleasant pictures, relative to pleasant pictures for both male and female
children. There was an interaction between gender and picture valence for
startle magnitude and changes in corrugator muscle activity, however. For
corrugator activity, the pattern was the same for both genders, but female
children showed greater modulation of their responses. For startle magnitude,
the relationship was more complex. Females showed greater startle magnitude
when eyeblinks were elicited while viewing unpleasant pictures versus

pleasant pictures. Males, conversely, showed inhibition of the startle response
while viewing unpleasant versus pleasant pictures.
Gender differences found in the present study are consistent with
differences in other areas of emotional development. For example, Saarni
(1984) has shown that female children are better at understanding the use of
display rules regulating the expression of emotion. This is attributed to their
higher levels of empathy. Zahn-Waxler, Cole, & Barret (1991) review the






57
evidence showing that girls are better than boys at understanding the emotions

felt by others. Also, Boyatzis, Chazan, & Ting (1993) used pictures of facial

expressions and found that preschool girls were better than their male peers at
recognizing facial expressions. This pattern of females being better than males
at a variety of emotional tasks is consistent with the results from the children in

this study. Female children may be better at processing the emotional aspects
of the pictures. Gender differences often found in the development of emotion
may be due to differences in the socialization of emotion. For example, Fivush

(1991) has found that mothers discuss emotional events differently with their
preschool sons and daughters. Mothers emphasized sadness more with
daughters and anger more with their sons, indicating that boys and girls are
socialized differently to respond to emotional stimuli. In the context of this study,
many of the pictures involved people and greater empathy found in females

may improve their ability to respond emotionally to the stimuli. That is, in a six
second viewing period, girls may be better able to empathize with the people in
the pictures, increasing their emotional responses.

Adolescents' Responses to Affective Pictures

Unlike children's ratings, affective ratings by adolescents were consistent

from the normative study to the laboratory study. Their ratings were also

consistent with their corrugator activity while viewing pictures, with lower
pleasure ratings corresponding to higher corrugator activity. Lower pleasure
ratings were also related to heart rate deceleration in females, with males
showing a nonsignificant trend in the same direction as the females. Higher

arousal ratings were significantly related to larger increases in skin
conductance for males and marginally so for females. Thus, for adolescents,
ratings and physiological measures were generally related.








When looking at a priori valence categories, similar relationships as
those using participants own ratings were found. That is, increased corrugator
activity and greater heart rate deceleration for unpleasant pictures. For skin

conductance, there were greater increases while adolescents viewed
unpleasant versus pleasant and neutral pictures. This is different from what
was expected based on research with college undergraduates, where

responses to pleasant and unpleasant pictures are not different from each
other, but both are different from neutral. A possible reason for this can be

found in recent data using college undergraduates (Lang, Bradley, Drobes, &
Cuthbert, 1995). A study using different semantic categories of pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant pictures has shown that, in college undergraduates at

least, it is only the highest arousal contents (i.e., erotica) that shows large
increases in skin conductance for pleasant pictures. Since there were no
comparable stimuli in this study, this could reduce the effect.
There is little evidence of affective modulation of the startle response in
adolescents. Again looking to studies with adult populations, an explanation for

this can be found. Cuthbert et al. (in press) found that there is an arousal

threshold for startle modulation. That is, there is no affective modulation of the

startle reflex at low to moderate levels of arousal, but as arousal continues to
increase, there is increasing differentiation of the response elicited while
viewing unpleasant versus pleasant pictures. Given that the pictures used in

this study do not represent the extremes in valence and arousal (see table 11)
that are possible in the picture medium, the failure to see modulation of the
startle response may be due to the stimuli used in this study.
Young Adults' responses to Affective Pictures
As with adolescents, young adults ratings were consistent from the
normative study to the laboratory study. Adults demonstrated increased








corrugator activity as pleasure ratings increased, and greater skin conductance
as arousal ratings increased. Females showed a stronger relationship between
skin conductance and arousal, but males showed a relationship in the same
direction.
Looking at a priori valence categories, three results stand out as
unanticipated. While corrugator activity viewing unpleasant pictures was
greater than that during pleasant pictures, it was not greater for unpleasant
versus neutral. Indeed, looking at the range of change from baseline, it appears
that the difference between pleasant and neutral/unpleasant is due to a
decrease in activity while viewing pleasant pictures. The lack of an increase in
corrugator activity for unpleasant pictures may be due to the specific pictures
used in this study. The unpleasant pictures used in this study were less
arousing (see table 11) than pictures typically shown to adult populations in this
paradigm, thus, less modulation of affect measures could be expected.
Another unexpected finding was that heart rate deceleration was not
greater during viewing of unpleasant versus pleasant pictures. This, too,
appears to be a function of the affective characteristics of the specific pictures
used in this study. Among unpleasant pictures, the highest arousing material
shows more sustained heart rate deceleration (Lang et al., 1995). The
limitations of the pictures due to the exclusion of erotic and other highly
arousing material makes the adult heart rate inconsistent with previous studies.
As with adolescents, adults skin conductance showed an increase only
to the unpleasant pictures. Previous studies using college undergraduates
have shown skin conductance increases for both pleasant and unpleasant
pictures if the picture content is sufficiently arousing (Cuthbert et al., in press;
Cuthbert, Schupp, McManis, Hillman, Bradley, & Lang, 1995; Lang et al., 1995).








The lack of increase in skin conductance while viewing pleasant pictures is

consistent with the idea that they were under arousing.

Looking Ahead

A number of issues raised by this study remain unresolved. Future

studies need to address the issue of regarding the particular stimuli used in this

study should be investigated. It may be that there is no set of affective pictures

that can engage the appetitive and aversive motivational systems across a wide

emotional age range. However, it is possible to find particular sets of stimuli for

smaller age ranges that will elicit affective responses. There has been a great

deal of attention recently paid to the sexual and violent content of television

programs. Material similar in content to the television shows that have drawn

the greatest complaints would be a good place to begin the effort of finding

more intense stimuli, as it would help to resolve unstudied issues regarding the

effects of these television programs on children.

The issue of arousal ratings in the laboratory versus the normative

studies needs to be addressed directly in a study involving both paper-and-

pencil and computerized versions of SAM to collect affective ratings of the

pictures. Such a study gives the opportunity for a direct comparison of the two

methods of affective ratings and allows for an evaluation of each presentation

method.

Also of interest is the consistency of gender differences in children. This

needs to be investigated, as well as the relationship between the methods used
in the present study and other measures showing gender differences in

emotional development. For example, empathy measures can be used to

investigate the relationship between empathy and affective responses to

pictures. Other emotional tasks could be used, as well. Facial expression

recognition or the use of facial display rules could also be included in a study of








affective responses to pictures, in order to investigate the relationship between

emotional tasks known to exhibit gender differences and emotional responses
to affective pictures.
As these issues are resolved, the methods developed in the present
study can be used to study a variety of emotional phenomena in children. For
example, the affective modulation has been shown to be sensitive to

temperamental differences (Bradley & Lang, 1992) and can differentiate clinical
populations (Patrick, Cuthbert, & Lang, 1994) in adult populations. Additionally,
the startle probe has been used to investigate the time course of affective
picture processing (Bradley, Cuthbert, & Lang, 1993) and the development of
anticipatory anxiety (Grillion, Ameli, Woods, Merikangas, & Davis, 1991). These
are all areas of research that can be extended to children. A reliable measure

of emotional state, such as those used in this study, would increase our
understanding of emotional development and the development of emotional

information processing.
To conclude, the results provide support for the use of the picture viewing
paradigm in the study of emotional development. The difficulties inherent in

finding appropriate stimuli could be greatly reduced by limiting the age range of

the participants. There was rather weak correspondence between emotional
dimensions and physiological responses. This is especially true of the arousal

dimension. It is not clear at this time if the lack of concordance between skin

conductance and arousal ratings is due to a lack of highly arousing pictures or
due to a more fundamental difference in children's and adolescents' emotional
responses. Future studies can and should address the issues raised in the
present study.













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APPENDIX A

CHILDREN'S NORMATIVE SLIDE RATING STUDY

Summary
Pictures depicting various emotional scenes were shown to 123
elementary and middle school students and 20 college undergraduates. Each

subject rated the pool of pictures using the Self-Assessment Mannequin (SAM),
which measures pleasure, arousal, and dominance (Mehrabian & Russell

1974). For pleasure, words like happy, pleased, good, and unhappy, scared,

angry, bad or sad were used in the instructions to describe the endpoints. For
arousal, words like calm, relaxed, bored, sleepy and excited, nervous, or wide
awake described the endpoints. For dominance, endpoint descriptors included

feeling important, being a leader, and feeling unimportant or bullied.
The unlabeled dimensions were represented pictorially on a 9-point

scale. Order of the dimensions on a page was randomized across trials.

Subjects were run in groups of 8 to 25, depending upon each class size.
Sessions were conducted in similar rooms (a classroom) under the same

lighting conditions for each group.

Subjects viewed a warning/preparation slide for 5 seconds, then viewed
each content picture for 6 seconds, immediately after which the ratings were
made. The rating period varied from 15 to 20 seconds, allowing ample time for
ratings.

There were 36 (18 females) young children ranging in age from 7-9

years. There were 47 (25 females) children ranging in age from 10 to 12 years.








There were 40 (17 female) adolescents (13-14 year olds). A control group

consisted of 20 (10 female) college undergraduates, 18-23 years old.
Children showed a consistent pattern of higher arousal pictures being
rated as more extreme on the pleasure dimension. That is, pictures rated highly
arousing were also rated as more pleasant or more unpleasant than pictures
rated low in arousal. This pattern is identical to that found previously with

adults. All groups showed very high correlations (ranging from .96 to .99)
between pleasure and dominance ratings, suggesting that these dimensions
are redundant. There were significant correlations between the child and

adolescent groups ratings on both pleasure and arousal dimensions and
ratings from the adult undergraduate sample on these dimensions. Specifically,
correlations between young children and undergraduates were .95 and .88 for

pleasure and arousal, respectively. Similarly high correlations were obtained
between older children and undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .89 for

arousal) and for adolescents and undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .90 for
arousal).
Coefficient alphas were computed for each age group. Results indicate a

high degree of reliability (a ranging from .97 to .99 for the sample) in children's
ratings of emotional pictures. These results indicate that children respond

emotionally to pictures in a manner very similar to adults, and that the Self-
Assessment Mannequin is a useful measure of children's feelings.

Ratings Instructions
Hi, we are from the University of Florida and we are here to show you
some pictures. Today we will be doing an experiment. If you do not want to
participate or if you think your parents might not want you to be in a research
study you do not have to. Now, those who want to can follow us to the room

where we will be doing the experiment and hear more about it. You can also








choose to not be in this study later, after you hear more about it. Anyone who
does not want to go can stay here and continue working.
GO TO EXPERIMENT ROOM
We are here to show you some pictures. We need to know how you feel
when you see these pictures so that we can learn more about children's
feelings: You will see lots of slides showing different things that may make you
feel happy or unhappy, excited or relaxed, or maybe even angry, scared, or
thrilled. Every child will feel differently about each slide. There are no wrong
answers. Whatever you feel is the right answer to put on the page. What we
are doing today is very important. You need to listen carefully to the instructions
so you will be able to fill everything out correctly. Also, during the slide show it
is very important that you not talk or laugh or make comments to your
classmates. If you talk, the experiment will be ruined and we will have to go
back to the classroom. Does everyone understand? This is very important.
To help you tell us how you felt when you saw the slide, we are going to

use SAM. You each have a page that has SAM on it. Is there anyone who
doesn't have a copy of SAM, please hold up your hand? (Pause) SAM has

helped lots of people tell us how they feel. OK, please turn the page so that you
can see the number three, like this (show correct side).
After you see each slide, you will be able to tell us how you felt when you
looked at the slide by marking the picture of SAM that best shows how you felt.
Again, there are no right or wrong answers. Just tell us how you felt when you
saw the slide.
Looking at the page, you see that the first row has five pictures of SAM.
Notice that on one side, SAM is frowning, on the other side, SAM is smiling, and
in the middle, SAM is not smiling or frowning. These pictures are in order from
a very unhappy SAM to a very happy SAM. (Turn on slide projector).








Looking up at the screen, you can see that there is a big X on the picture of
SAM that shows him smiling very big. This is where you would put a mark if the
slide you had just seen made you feel happy, glad, cheerful, pleased, good, or
hopeful. (Adv. projector) On this slide, there is an X on the picture of SAM
frowning. This is where you would put your mark if you felt unhappy, scared,

angry, bad, or sad. If you feel neutral, that is you, didn't feel either happy or
unhappy, then you can put an X over the picture of SAM that is not smiling or
frowning. (Show with laser pointer) (Adv. projector) If you felt in
between being very happy and a little bit happy, you could put an X between
pictures of SAM, like this.
Now let's look at the second feeling. This row shows pictures of SAM
when SAM is very still and his eyes are closed. You would use this SAM if you
felt very calm, relaxed, bored or sleepy. You would use the SAM on the other
side of the row, if you felt very excited, nervous, jittery, active or wide awake on
one side. Notice how it looks like SAM is jumping up and down and his
stomach is excited. This is like when you get excited and can't sit still or like you
have butterflies in your stomach when you are very nervous. Use this row to tell
how excited or calm you felt when you saw the slide. (Adv. projector) If you
are very excited, enthusiastic, nervous, scared, or wide awake you would put an
X over here, like this. (Adv. Projector) If you feel calm, relaxed, or sleepy,
place an X here, like this. (Adv. projector) Just like the first row, you can put
an X between pictures like this. If you felt in between calm and sleepy and very
excited, you could put an X between pictures of SAM, like this.
The third row shows SAM very little and getting bigger and bigger.
Sometimes, you feel unimportant or out of control, bullied, like someone else is
the leader or in charge, or like you can't handle the situation when you watch
the slide. This is when he looks very small. Other times, you feel important or








very big or like you don't need anyone's help. This is when SAM looks very big.

You can use this row to show how you felt when you saw the slide. (Adv.

projector) If you felt grown up and able to handle the situation, then you
would put an X on the big SAM, like this. (Adv. projector) If you felt more like

you couldn't handle the situation and small then you would put an X on the little
SAM, like this. (Adv. projector) You can also put an X in between pictures
like this.

Now we will see some slides and practice using SAM to show how you
felt. Each picture will be on the screen for a little while, and then another slide
will come on telling you to rate the picture you just saw. When you see this

slide, you should mark SAM to show how you felt when you were looking at the

picture. Then, another slide will come on telling you that the next picture is

coming up. I want to remind you that there are no right or wrong answers, just
put down how you felt when you were looking at the slide. Also, please
remember there is no talking. This includes no laughing or making sounds. We

will have to stop the show if you make a lot of noise. If you have a question,

raise your hand and we will come to you. You will have a chance to talk about

the slides and your feelings after the experiment is over.

If you do not want to be in this experiment, you should leave now. Some
children may not like to watch the pictures. If you feel that way now or at any

time during the experiment, you can go back to the classroom.

(Go through demo slides)
Are there any questions?
Now look at your books. On the front, please put your name, your
teacher's name, how old you are right now, and circle whether you are a boy or
a girl.

(Begin slide show)













APPENDIX B
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAM RATINGS IN LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS


In this part you will be rating emotions that you might be feeling. To do
this, we will use this monitor (point to SAM display), and this joystick. This is
SAM. We will use SAM to help you tell us how you felt when you were watching
a picture. Just like before, a picture will come on the screen, but this time you
will get to watch it for as long as you want. You should press this button on the
joystick to turn it off. Then the SAM figure will come on like this and you will get
to tell us how the picture made you feel.


(Place the joystick in the Subject's lap.)


When you see the message "Please Center the ratings knob" you need to move
the joystick back and forth.


First, think how Happy vs. Unhappy the picture made you feel. If you move the
joystick to the left, you can see the SAM is smiling. The further you move it, the
bigger he smiles. If you move it the other way, SAM begins to frown. You can
tell us how you felt while watching the slide by making SAM look the way you
felt. If you felt very happy, glad, cheerful, pleased, good, or hopeful. If you only
felt a little bit happy, you can make SAM smile just a little bit.
If you felt very unhappy, scared, angry, bored, or sad you can make SAM
frown by moving the joystick all the way to the right. If you only felt a little bit








unhappy, you can make SAM frown just a little. You can make SAM smile or
frown as much as you want to show us how you felt when you were looking at

the slide. If you didn't feel happy or unhappy, you can make SAM's mouth a
straight line. When you have SAM looking the way you felt, you press the
button on the joy stick to record your answer. Then the next rating will come up.


Remember to move the joystick back and forth.


Now think about how Calm vs. Aroused the picture made you feel. If you felt

very excited, like you couldn't sit still, like you have butterflies in your stomach,
nervous or nervous, or wide awake you should move the joystick all the way to
the right. You can see that SAM is jumping up and down and the dots are

moving around alot. If you only felt a little bit excited, you can make SAM jump
slower and the dots will move around slower.

If you felt very calm, relaxed, bored, or sleepy you can make SAM stop
jumping and close his eyes. If you only felt a little bit calm, you can make SAM's

eyes close just a little. If you didn't feel excited or calm, you can make SAM

stand still with his eyes all the way open. You press the button on the joystick to

record your answer and then the next rating will come on.


Now you need to move the joystick back and forth again.


Now think about how In control vs. Controlled the picture made you feel. If the
picture made you feel important, very big, or in control of the situation, you can
make SAM get very big. If you felt only a little bit important, you can make SAM
a little big. If you felt unimportant, controlled, bullied, or like someone else is the






74

leader, you can make SAM get small. If you felt only a little bit controlled, you

can make SAM only a little bit small.


After you press the button on the joystick here, you should look up at the screen

for the next picture. Remember you can look at the picture as long as you like
and then press the button on the joystick. Let's do another practice.


Let's do one last practice to make sure you can remember everything.













APPENDIX C

LABORATORY AND NORMATIVE RATINGS FOR PICTURES

Slide Description

171 3 Puppies
175 2 Bunnies
192 Dolphins playing
292 Clown
548 Fireworks
733 Ice cream
741 M & Ms
849 Roller coaster
851 Red sports car

219 Neutral man
228 Neutral boy
232 Girl reading
700 Rolling pin
701 Wicker basket
709 Book
710 Fire hydrant
713 Truck
715 Umbrella


112 Snake ready to strike
128 Rat
130 Pit bull snarling
310 Burn victim
350 Man getting mugged on subway
353 Terrorist with gun in mouth
623 Aimed gun
630 Knife
637 Masked man










Children (7-10 yrs.) Laboratory Ratings


Males
Slide
Number Pleasure Arousal

292 13.87 11.40

849 16.00 16.27

733 16.80 16.20

175 17.53 11.93

548 17.67 14.93

192 18.33 15.20

851 18.33 16.00

741 18.53 15.53

171 18.60 15.20


232 7.33 5.60

219 8.33 4.87

709 8.33 5.87

715 8.47 4.47

228 10.20 8.20

701 10.33 7.13

700 10.53 5.73

710 12.00 9.53

713 13.53 11.73


350 2.27 7.00

630 3.07 7.60

353 3.47 8.27


Dominance

13.87

14.47

18.13

16.60

16.80

16.67

16.93

16.33

17.07


9.40

7.93

8.20

9.80

12.20

9.27

10.53

13.27

14.73


2.33

5.67

4.33


Females

Pleasure Arousal

17.67 15.20

18.40 17.20

18.40 13.33

19.07 15.67

19.53 17.13

19.80 14.67

20.00 17.40

20.00 15.93

20.00 17.33


9.07 5.87

9.20 7.47

10.87 6.73

11.13 8.40

11.20 8.33

11.67 7.40

11.73 6.87

12.80 7.93

15.33 10.20


0.20 9.33

0.73 11.73

1.00 12.20


Dominance

17.27

13.93

11.07

19.13

15.33

18.00

17.80

17.20

18.93



13.73

8.33

13.47

12.20

8.27

14.73

14.07

12.53

12.27


2.73

2.60

2.07









310 3.60 7.33 4.80

623 4.33 12.20 -4.60

637 4.47 8.60 4.20

130 6.07 12.67 6.80

128 9.33 9.33 10.60

112 11.53 12.47 11.40


1.87 11.27 3.20

2.20 11.93 2.53

2.87 12.47 4.07

4.07 10.47 5.47

4.27 14.80 4.13

4.87 13.33 3.47










Adolescents (12 15 yrs.) Laboratory Ratings

Males Females
Slide
Number Pleasure Arousal Dominance Pleasure Arousal Dominance

292 12.40 8.13 10.40 13.93 10.13 12.60

741 15.53 15.27 10.93 14.87 13.20 14.80

733 16.00 10.93 14.53 15.80 13.73 16.47

851 16.40 9.27 13.27 16.47 13.20 14.73

175 16.53 10.93 12.53 17.13 12.60 14.73

849 16.67 9.93 15.07 17.47 17.07 9.53

548 16.93 12.33 13.53 17.67 14.40 13.60

192 17.13 14.73 18.20 17.87 14.80 13.80

171 17.73 13.53 11.87 18.53 15.93 13.87


228 7.60 2.13 11.00 8.87 6.07 10.47

219 8.47 7.67 11.13 8.87 5.47 9.53

713 8.53 7.07 10.40 9.00 7.60 7.80

701 8.60 8.13 11.40 9.40 4.40 13.53

700 9.27 2.93 13.47 9.60 5.80 12.87

715 9.73 3.80 11.93 9.80 6.27 14.33

709 9.80 4.80 12.60 10.53 7.27 13.13

710 9.80 2.20 13.80 11.20 4.00 12.47

232 10.00 2.93 13.27 11.60 5.87 11.53


310 1.13 12.60 6.13 1.53 12.47 2.13

350 5.73 12.20 7.93 2.40 15.20 1.93

630 6.40 15.73 7.33 3.00 15.53 3.33









353 6.60 10.87 12.07

637 7.53 13.87 10.53

623 7.60 14.73 8.27

112 7.87 15.40 9.00

128 10.20 15.80 11.27

130 11.93 14.33 10.67


3.33 14.07 1.60

3.80 15.07 3.07

4.13 15.20 2.60

4.67 15.73 3.53

4.73 12.60 7.53

5.60 15.07 3.60










Undergraduates (18 24 yrs.) Laboratory Ratings


Males
Slide
Number Pleasure Arousal Dominance


292 13.07 9.53

849 14.80 10.80

733 15.87 16.60

175 16.00 13.80

548 16.07 8.13

192 16.20 13.27

851 16.53 12.73

741 17.07 12.13

171 17.20 15.73


232 9.73 5.93

219 9.87 4.80

709 10.27 4.80

715 10.33 5.40

228 10.47 2.60

701 10.60 5.60

700 10.73 6.87

710 11.00 4.80

713 12.00 6.87


350 1.93 13.87

630 3.53 16.07

353 4.27 15.07


11.87

13.13

7.67

11.87

13.33

13.33

13.27

14.07

14.47


11.73

12.07

12.20

12.60

13.93

13.33

10.47

14.53

11.27


4.67

4.40

6.93


Females

Pleasure Arousal

11.20 9.73

15.07 11.33

16.27 8.13

16.47 11.87

16.53 9.53

16.73 12.80

17.13 9.93

17.40 11.47

17.60 15.60


8.87 7.20

9.13 8.53

9.73 4.07

9.80 5.60

10.53 5.53

10.67 8.13

10.80 5.00

10.93 6.93

14.07 5.27


1.93 13.27

2.33 17.27

2.67 14.73


Dominance

10.60

12.67

13.60

12.93

13.20

12.80

13.73

11.20

9.53


10.20

10.73

10.93

11.93

12.13

8.40

13.13

12.40

13.47


8.07

3.87

5.27








310 4.47 15.07 5.80

623 4.93 14.73 7.07

637 5.53 13.47 10.93

130 6.27 15.80 7.47

128 6.53 13.13 6.93

112 7.47 14.93 7.73


3.60 16.13 4.20

3.60 16.33 3.07

3.73 16.60 3.47

4.07 14.93 5.13

4.20 15.13 6.80

4.80 14.13 8.00








Normative Slide Ratings: Children (7-10 yrs. old)

Males

Slide Pleasure Arousal PleH

112 4.48 6.87 3.

128 5.13 5.35 4.

130 5.04 7.17 3.

171 8.70 4.91 8.

175 8.48 5.52 8.

192 8.52 5.91 8.

219 5.91 2.91 5.

228 5.91 3.04 5.

232 5.91 2.96 6.

292 7.52 4.13 8.

350 3.09 7.04 1.

353 2.48 7.39 1.

548 8.17 5.91 8.

623 3.74 7.87 2.

630 2.35 8.00 1.

637 4.41 6.57 3.

700 6.26 2.73 5.

701 5.57 3.22 5.

709 6.00 2.96 5.

710 5.96 2.61 5.

713 5.77 3.32 5.

715 6.13 2.91 5.

733 8.26 6.26 8.

741 8.44 5.09 8.


Females

asure Arousal

96 6.85

93 5.41

52 7.41

85 5.78

56 5.26

93 7.04

67 2.22

04 1.96

37 2.26

19 6.74

89 7.41

22 7.59

63 6.70

15 7.48

93 7.67

12 5.50

63 2.07

82 2.15

74 2.33

70 2.30

65 2.31

41 2.15

82 6.26

67 5.44






83

849 8.39 7.09 8.67 7.93
851 7.96 6.87 8.19 7.37








Normative Slide Ratings: Adolescents (12 14)


Males
PlPac ira Armncal


QlirlA


VIIVY IICIYIYIY IVYYCI


Females

Pleasure Arousal

2.84 6.24

3.40 5.48

2.84 6.28

8.28 4.88

7.92 4.28

8.12 5.20

4.88 2.72

4.92 3.12

5.88 3.24

6.52 4.40

2.12 6.33

1.60 6.56

8.24 5.44

2.08 7.00

2.08 7.08

2.68 6.48

4.96 2.00

5.25 2.04

5.28 3.32

5.40 2.84

4.96 2.83

4.92 2.32

7.48 5.16

6.72 4.92






85

849 7.95 7.81 8.40 7.48
851 7.81 6.46 7.68 5.80








Normative Slide Ratings: Undergraduates

Males

Slide Pleasure Arousal

112 4.73 6.60

128 4.40 4.48

130 4.06 6.90

171 8.02 5.53

175 7.89 4.21

192 7.83 4.21

219 4.73 2.27

228 4.00 2.13

232 5.75 3.25

292 6.13 2.38

350 2.50 6.80

353 2.10 6.80

548 7.37 5.55

623 2.73 7.10

630 3.30 6.37

637 3.24 6.28

700 4.93 2.73

701 4.95 1.55

709 4.95 2.30

710 5.29 3.08

713 4.79 3.54

715 4.76 2.66

733 7.29 4.54

741 6.80 4.24


Females

Pleasure Arousal

3.00 7.20

3.16 5.24

3.41 6.70

8.59 5.31

8.59 4.02

7.94 4.31

4.90 2.50

4.80 3.00

5.80 2.50

7.20 4.40

1.94 7.16

1.51 6.80

7.69 5.41

2.06 7.56

1.94 6.84

2.20 6.58

5.06 2.15

4.57 3.22

5.44 2.92

5.20 2.73

4.75 3.20

4.69 2.56

7.96 5.54

7.00 4.84






87

849 6.85 6.25 7.44 6.97

851 7.62 5.44 7.11 4.59













BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Mark McManis received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and

his Master of Arts in general psychology, both from the University of West

Florida. After graduation, he intends to pursue a career in academic teaching

and research.








I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Docr fIlosophy.



Pet.r r ang, Ch irman
Graduate Resear h Professor of
Psychology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor ofiloso h



W. Keith Berg, Cochairman
Professor of Psychology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.



Margalet M. Bradley
Associate Scientist of Psyhology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.



Bruce N. Cuthbert
Associate Professor of Clinical and
Health Psychology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.



M. J Pf'Fetrar
Associate Professor of Psychology








I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.



ames J. Algin ,
professor of F ndatioQ sf
Education

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to
the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


May, 1996
Dean, Graduate School



















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Full Text
APPENDIX B
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAM RATINGS IN LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS
In this part you will be rating emotions that you might be feeling. To do
this, we will use this monitor (point to SAM display), and this joystick. This is
SAM. We will use SAM to help you tell us how you felt when you were watching
a picture. Just like before, a picture will come on the screen, but this time you
will get to watch it for as long as you want. You should press this button on the
joystick to turn it off. Then the SAM figure will come on like this and you will get
to tell us how the picture made you feel.
(Place the joystick in the Subjects lap.)
When you see the message "Please Center the ratings knob" you need to move
the joystick back and forth.
First, think how Happy vs. Unhappy the picture made you feel. If you move the
joystick to the left, you can see the SAM is smiling. The further you move it, the
bigger he smiles. If you move it the other way, SAM begins to frown. You can
tell us how you felt while watching the slide by making SAM look the way you
felt. If you felt very happy, glad, cheerful, pleased, good, or hopeful. If you only
felt a little bit happy, you can make SAM smile just a little bit.
If you felt very unhappy, scared, angry, bored, or sad you can make SAM
frown by moving the joystick all the way to the right. If you only felt a little bit
72


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
CHILDREN'S COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES
TO AFFECTIVE PICTURES
By
Mark H. McManis
May, 1996
Chairman: Peter J. Lang
Major Department: Psychology
Emotional pictures reliably evoke a wide range of measurable physical
reactions in adults. Changes in heart rate, skin conductance, and facial muscle
activity are related to the affective content of the pictures. Additionally,
unpleasant pictures facilitate the startle reflex while pleasant pictures inhibit it.
This study looks at these response systems across a wide age range to
determine whether the pattern of responses changes with age.
Thirty children (15 female) 7-10 years of age (median: 8 years), 30
adolescents (15 female) 12-15 years of age (median: 13 years), and 30
college undergraduates (15 female) 18-24 years of age (median: 19 years)
participated in this study. Each participant viewed a series of pictures varying in
affective content. Heart rate, skin conductance, and corrugator EMG were
recorded during the 6 s picture period. During each picture, a 95 dB, 50 ms
burst of white noise was delivered binaurally to elicit a startle eyeblink which
was measured as EMG activity of the left orbicularis oculi.
VI


3
in terms of two motivational dimensions: appetitive and aversive. In this work,
Konorski (1967) initially organized mammalian behaviors into two major
categories based on their biological role. One set of responses he termed
preservative and included all activities involved in necessary intake of
substances (e.g., food, air), excretion of waste, rest and recuperation, and
procreation, etc. The second set of responses were called protective and
included withdrawal from noxious or dangerous stimuli, rejection of harmful
stimuli, and aggressive attack on dangerous enemies. Konorski describes the
preservative responses directed toward a stimulus as appetitive and the stimuli
that evoke these responses as attractive. The protective responses directed
away from the stimulus are called defensive and the stimuli that evoke these
responses are called aversive.
Further ideas regarding the organization of behavior into a biphasic
motivational system come from Schneirla (1959). Arguing that approach and
withdrawal behaviors were the only empirical, objective terms that could be
applied to all motivated behavior in all animals, he proposed that all behavior
could be described in these terms. Toward that end, approach is defined by
Schneirla as getting nearer to the source of the stimulus, whereas withdrawal
involves an increase in the distance between the organism and the source of
the stimulus. The list of approach behaviors includes food-getting, shelter
getting, and mating. Withdrawal behaviors include defense, huddling, and
flight. This biphasic organization provides a basic framework within which
emotions can be understood in terms of dimensions.
Following the ideas of Konorski (1967) and Schneirla (1959), Lang and
his colleagues have presented a theory of emotion based on the motivational
states of the organism. According to this view, stimuli are organized as a
function of their hedonic value to the organism. Appetitive stimuli are


24
with Omniprep and the sensors were then attached. Finally, headphones were
placed on the participants. Parents were allowed In the room during this part of
the procedure If the child or parent requested.
The lights were dimmed and participants were Instructed to watch the
slides the entire time they were on the screen (6 s) and to keep their movements
to a minimum. Parents, if present, were then asked to return to the waiting
room. The experimenter left the room and subjects were given two minutes to
adjust to the new light level before the first slide was presented. Each
participant saw 27 slides In one of three possible slide orders. Orders were
randomly generated with the constraints that each of three groups of nine slides
(one third) was presented In the first, second, and last block across the three
orders, and each group of three slides (nine groups) contained a pleasant,
unpleasant, and neutral slide. Data collection began six seconds before slide
onset and continued for six seconds after slide offset. The amount of time
between slides varied from 12 to 30 seconds. A startle probe was delivered
randomly between 2.8 and 5.5 seconds Into the slide viewing period of each
slide. There were also six startle probes delivered between slides, the first one
delivered before the first slide was presented.
Following the picture trials, the sensors were removed and the
participants were given an opportunity to stretch. Older participants,
adolescents and undergraduates also completed the EASI temperament
questionnaire at this time. This questionnaire was filled out by the parents of
the young children.
Participants were then instructed on how to use a joystick to control the
amount of time they viewed a slide, and the SAM rating procedure (see
Appendix B for specific instructions given). There were two neutral practice
slides presented to ensure that each participant understood that he or she could


settings, the difference in children's ratings becomes even more clear. Looking
at table 5 for the normative ratings, there is a clear pattern of rating unpleasant
slides more arousing than pleasant slides. This is true for all age and gender
groups. However, in the laboratory setting, the children, and only the children,
rate the unpleasant pictures less arousing than the pleasant pictures.
Table 5. Normative arousal ratings of affective pictures used in the present
study.
Males Females
Aae Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children
5.74
2.96
7.03
6.50
5.67
6.91
Adolescents
5.90
2.59
6.52
5.28
2.72
6.43
Adults
4.57
2.63
5.52
5.61
2.77
7.25
Ratinas-Phvsiolopy Covariation Analysis
Covariation refers to the relationship affective judgments have to specific
physiological responses. That is, affective ratings are hypothesized to covary
with physiological measures of emotion. To investigate this, ratings on a given
dimension were rank ordered within each subject, following Lang et al. (1993).
After sorting each participants' ratings of slides, a rank is given to each slide
from lowest (1) to highest (27) for each participant. On the arousal dimension,
for example, the most arousing picture for each participant is given a rank of 27,
the second most arousing picture receives a rank of 26, and so on. The specific
picture ranked most arousing is likely to be different across subjects, but for
each subject, their highest rated picture will get a rank of 27. Responses for
subject's lowest and highest (and everything in between) ranked pictures are
averaged for each age group and gender. This gives an average response at


DISCUSSION 51
Stimulus Selection, Categorization, and Judgments of
Characteristics 52
Development of Responses to Affective Pictures 54
Children's Responses to Affective Pictures 54
Adolescents Responses to Affective Pictures 57
Young Adults' Responses to Affective Pictures 58
Looking Ahead 60
REFERENCES 62
APPENDIX A CHILDREN'S NORMATIVE SLIDE RATING STUDY 67
APPENDIX B INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAM RATINGS IN LABORATORY
EXPERIMENTS 72
APPENDIX C LABORATORY AND NORMATIVE RATINGS FOR
PICTURES 75
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 88
v


16
Research Questions
The present study investigates the pattern of responses, using a bio-
informational approach, in children and adolescents and the extent to which
these patterns are similar to the pattern seen in college undergraduates. The
primary aim of the present study is to determine if the picture viewing paradigm,
with its measures of verbal, behavioral, and physiological responses to
emotional stimuli, is one that can be used with children and adolescents. The
pattern of responses seen in undergraduate populations is well understood, so
if the same paradigm can be adapted for use with younger populations, then
what is known about adult responses can aid in the interpretation of results from
studies with children.
Affective judgments provide the basis for the analyses. Evidence from
the normative study shows that children's concept of pleasure and arousal, as
represented by SAM, is similar. The picture stimuli were selected to maximize
children's responses, but all age groups are expected to rate them similarly.
Participants judgments will be used to determine a progression along the
valence and arousal dimensions. The covariation between the cognitive
response system (affective judgments) and the physiological response system
will be tested using correlation and regression coefficients. Specifically, from
Lang et al. (1993), it is expected that pleasure ratings will be negatively related
to corrugator muscle activity and startle magnitude and positively related to
heart rate deceleration. Arousal ratings, on the other hand, are expected to
correspond with skin conductance.
Specific questions regarding how children and adolescents respond to
stimuli within a specific valence category include whether they demonstrate
increased activity of the corrugator muscle when viewing unpleasant material;
whether the younger participants exhibit heart rate acceleration to unpleasant


500
400
300
200
100
Children
Adolescents
Adults
Males R= .19
Females R=-.21
500.
Males R= .07
Females R= -.12
5 10 15 20 0 5 10 15 20
Subjects' Ratings Subjects' Ratings
14. The relationship between startle magnitude and subject's own
0 5 10 15
Subjects' Ratings
pleasure ratings.
20
CO
CO


8
of Mehrabian and Russell (1974), with three factors of pleasure, arousal, and
dominance accounting for most of the variance. Each factor score was then
averaged across subjects to produce a mean score on that factor for each slide.
Pearson correlations between these computed factor scores and the mean
SAM rating for the slides were very high.
The work done on the IAPS shows that a wide range of emotions, as
elicited by visual stimuli, can be described in terms of valence, arousal, and
dominance. It is understood that pictures may not be able to represent the full
spectrum of emotions, but other studies using sounds and words confirm that
emotional dimensions can adequately describe certain emotional experiences.
Children's Knowledge and Use of Emotional Dimensions
The studies described above provide strong evidence that the
dimensions of pleasure and arousal can be used to describe emotional stimuli
by adults. In order for a dimensional approach to the organization of emotion to
be useful, however, it would be helpful if data indicated that emotional concepts
of children are organized along dimensions comparable to adults. The
following discussion presents strong evidence that children organize their
emotional concepts In terms of valence and arousal.
One investigation of children's emotional concepts was conducted by
Russell and Ridgeway (1983) using emotional adjectives. Teachers provided a
list of words they considered to represent the emotional lexicon of children 11 to
14 years old. A questionnaire of 51 emotional words or phrases was created
and 270 children rated how they felt that day. The children's answers were
used in a principle components analysis. Two factors were retained, with the
first factor accounting for 23.4 percent of the initial variance and the second
accounting for 5.0 percent of the variance. The first factor was interpreted by the
authors as a pleasure factor, with words like nice and cheerful" loading


Normative Slide Ratings: Undergraduates
Males
86
Females
Slide
Pleasure
Arousal
Pleasure
Arousal
112
4.73
6.60
3.00
7.20
128
4.40
4.48
3.16
5.24
130
4.06
6.90
3.41
6.70
171
8.02
5.53
8.59
5.31
175
7.89
4.21
8.59
4.02
192
7.83
4.21
7.94
4.31
219
4.73
2.27
4.90
2.50
228
4.00
2.13
4.80
3.00
232
5.75
3.25
5.80
2.50
292
6.13
2.38
7.20
4.40
350
2.50
6.80
1.94
7.16
353
2.10
6.80
1.51
6.80
548
7.37
5.55
7.69
5.41
623
2.73
7.10
2.06
7.56
630
3.30
6.37
1.94
6.84
637
3.24
6.28
2.20
6.58
700
4.93
2.73
5.06
2.15
701
4.95
1.55
4.57
3.22
709
4.95
2.30
5.44
2.92
710
5.29
3.08
5.20
2.73
713
4.79
3.54
4.75
3.20
715
4.76
2.66
4.69
2.56
733
7.29
4.54
7.96
5.54
741
6.80
4.24
7.00
4.84


58
When looking at a priori valence categories, similar relationships as
those using participants own ratings were found. That is, increased corrugator
activity and greater heart rate deceleration for unpleasant pictures. For skin
conductance, there were greater increases while adolescents viewed
unpleasant versus pleasant and neutral pictures. This is different from what
was expected based on research with college undergraduates, where
responses to pleasant and unpleasant pictures are not different from each
other, but both are different from neutral. A possible reason for this can be
found in recent data using college undergraduates (Lang, Bradley, Drobes, &
Cuthbert, 1995). A study using different semantic categories of pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant pictures has shown that, in college undergraduates at
least, it is only the highest arousal contents (i.e., erotica) that shows large
increases in skin conductance for pleasant pictures. Since there were no
comparable stimuli in this study, this could reduce the effect.
There is little evidence of affective modulation of the startle response in
adolescents. Again looking to studies with adult populations, an explanation for
this can be found. Cuthbert et al. (in press) found that there is an arousal
threshold for startle modulation. That is, there is no affective modulation of the
startle reflex at low to moderate levels of arousal, but as arousal continues to
increase, there is increasing differentiation of the response elicited while
viewing unpleasant versus pleasant pictures. Given that the pictures used in
this study do not represent the extremes in valence and arousal (see table 11)
that are possible In the picture medium, the failure to see modulation of the
startle response may be due to the stimuli used in this study.
Young Adults' responses to Affective Pictures
As with adolescents, young adults ratings were consistent from the
normative study to the laboratory study. Adults demonstrated increased


27
20
18
16
14
12
2
I 10

o.
8
6
4
2
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Arousal
Figure 7. Childrens pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures in the
laboratory.


83
849
8.39
7.09
8.67
7.93
851
7.96
6.87
8.19
7.37


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7
Figure 2. Pleasure and arousal ratings for the
International Affective Picture System. These ratings
come from several studies of college undergraduates'
ratings of affective pictures.
from extremely unpleasant to extremely pleasant, and are distributed fairly
evenly across the valence dimension. Also, a wide range of arousal levels are
elicited by these materials (Bradley, Greenwald, & Hamm, 1993).
Not only has the SAM been shown to be able to represent the affective
space described by slides, Bradley and Lang (1994) have shown that it is highly
correlated with the Semantic Differential scale of Russell and Mehrablan. In a
study comparing SAM ratings to Semantic Differential ratings, correlations
between Semantic Differential scale, SAM ratings were computed. A factor
analysis of the Semantic Differential scale produced results very close to those


REFERENCES
Balaban, M. T. (1995). Affective influences on startle in five-month-old infants:
Reactions to facial expressions of emotion. Child Development. 66. 28-36.
Beidel, D. C. (1989). Assessing anxious emotion: A review of
psychophysiological assessment in children. Clinical Psychology Review.
2, 717-736.
Boyatzis, C. J., Chazan, E., & Ting, C. Z. (1993). Preschool childrens decoding
of facial emotions. Journal of Genetic Psychology. 154. 375-382.
Bradley, M. M., Cuthbert, B. N., & Lang, P. J. (1990). Startle reflex modification:
Emotion or attention? Psychophysiology. 27. 513-523.
Bradley, M. M., Cuthbert, B. N., & Lang, P. J. (1993). Pictures as prepulse:
Attention and emotion in startle modification. Psychophysiology. 22, 541-
545.
Bradley, M. M., Greenwald, M. K., Hamm, A. O. (1993). Affective picture
processing. In N. Birbaumer & A. Ohman (Eds.), The organization of
emotions (pp. 48-65). Hogrefe-Huber: Toronto.
Bradley, M. M., & Lang, P. J. (1992) Temperament and emotional reactivity:
Sociability, fear, and restraint. Poster presented at the 32nd meeting of the
Society for Psychophysiological Research. San Diego, California.
Bradley, M. M., & Lang, P. J. (1994). Measuring emotion: The self-assessment
manikin and the semantic differential. Journal of Behavior Therapy and
Experimental Psychiatry.
Bradley, M. M. Lang, P. J., & Cuthbert, B. N. (1993). Emotion, novelty, and the
startle reflex: Habituation in humans. Behavioral Neuroscience. 107. 1-11.
Case, R., Hayward, S., Lewis, M., & Hurst, P. (1988). Toward a neo-Piagetian
theory of cognitive and emotional development. Developmental Review. 8,
1-51.
Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention [CSEA-NIMH] (1994). The
international affective picture system [photographic slides]. Gainesville, FL:
The Center for Research in Psychophysiology, University of Florida.
Cook, E. W., Melamed, B. G., Cuthbert, B. N., McNeil, D. W & Lang, P. J. (1988).
Emotional imagery and the differential diagnosis of anxiety. Journal of
Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 5S, 734-740.
62


43
There were no interactions between valence and gender or age group. There
was, however, a significant gender effect, F(1,84)=7.06; e=.01, with females
having larger skin conductance increases, relative to males, for all three
valence categories.
Analysis of childrens responses did not show a main effect for valence,
but there was a significant main effect for gender, F(1,28)=5.22; p=.02. Table 7
indicates that females had higher skin conductance levels, overall. There was a
significant main effect of valence for adolescents, F(2,27)=3.74; p=.04, as well
as adults, E(2,27)=5.70; p=.01. There were no significant interactions for any
age group. Figure 16b reveals the nature of the relationship between valence
and skin conductance change, with adolescents and young adults showing
greater increases in skin conductance for unpleasant slides relative to pleasant
and neutral pictures. Children's skin conductance changed in the same
direction as the other age groups, but the differences were not significant.
Table 7. Mean change in skin conductance (in pmhos) during slide viewing for
pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.
Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children
.05
.02
.05
.09
.13
.20
Adolescents
.03
.03
.08
.05
.05
.08
Adults
.03
.08
.11
.10
.11
.23
Heart Rate
There was a significant interaction between age group and picture
valence, F(2,83)=2.38; p=.05. As seen in figure 16c, this is due to college
undergraduates showing more heart rate deceleration to the pleasant slides
while children and adolescents exhibit more deceleration to unpleasant slides.


23
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Figure 6. Young adults' pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures
In the normative study.
Young Adults
Males
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14
Lang and his colleagues have also developed a methodology for
probing the emotional state of an individual at a discrete point in time (see Lang
et al., 1990). As described by Konorski (1967), an Intense stimulus with rapid
onset (startle stimulus) elicits a defensive reaction In the context of the present
work, this defensive reflex Is facilitated or diminished, depending on the
affective context in which the reflex Is elicited. When a foreground stimulus Is
unpleasant, matching the valence of the elicited startle, the startle is enhanced.
The converse Is also true. If a subject views a pleasant picture, an elicited
startle Is smaller than If the subject were viewing a unpleasant picture. By
using a startle probe to elicit an eyeblink, a person's motivational state can be
assessed.
Affective Modulation of the Human Startle Eveblink
The startle probe is a physiological measure that has been particularly
useful In identifying the emotional state of individuals in the laboratory. A startle
probe, delivered during the processing of emotional material, elicits an eyeblink
that is modulated by the affective valence of the material being processed.
Specifically, an elicited eyeblink during the processing of unpleasant stimuli is
larger than an eyeblink elicited during exposure to pleasant stimuli.
An early study investigating the emotional modulation of the startle
response In adult humans was conducted by Vrana, Spence, and Lang (1988).
The authors predicted that unpleasant emotions would potentiate the startle
response and pleasant emotions would Inhibit the startle response. The
methodology used in this study involved the presentation of slides varying in
emotional valence. Slides were chosen to represent a range of pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant scenes. As hypothesized, startle magnitude was
smallest for pleasant slides, larger for neutral slides, and largest for negative
slides. More recent studies have shown that the affective modulation of the


scientist and researcher. I owe much of my success to them for taking the time
to teach me how to be a professor. I hope that my career reflects the principles
they have taught me.
This dissertation is the product of many years of effort by many people.
The specific content of this dissertation, however, is mine, as are any errors the
reader may find. I hope that my efforts reflect well on those who have helped
me complete my dissertation. I have not been able to recognize all who have
contributed to my education here, but those who have helped can be assured I
have not forgotten them and I am grateful for their assistance.


50
When considering each age group separately, a significant gender
difference, £(1,28) = 11.12; p < .01, was found in children, with females looking
at the pictures significantly longer than males. There was no valence effect and
no interactions. Adolescents showed no valence differences or any
interactions. Young adults viewed unpleasant pictures longer than pleasant or
neutral, £(2,27) = 5.56; p = .01. A post hoc analysis confirms this observation,
t(29) = 2.55; p < .02. Table 10 gives the means for each age group. The bottom
row of numbers gives the mean viewing time for undergraduates, and
demonstrates that they looked at pleasant and unpleasant pictures longer
relative to neutral pictures, F(1, 28) = 5.16; p < .04.
Table 11. Mean viewing time for pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.
Males Females
Aae Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children 4.00 3.55 4.08 5.78 5.31 5.44
Adolescents 4.65 4.27 5.80 5.32 5.63 5.41
5.18 4.60 6.04 4.80 4.77 5.23
Adults


78
Adolescents (12 -15 yrs.) Laboratory Ratings
Males Females
Slide
Number
Pleasure
Arousal
Dominance
Pleasure
Arousal
Dominance
292
12.40
8.13
10.40
13.93
10.13
12.60
741
15.53
15.27
10.93
14.87
13.20
14.80
733
16.00
10.93
14.53
15.80
13.73
16.47
851
16.40
9.27
13.27
16.47
13.20
14.73
175
16.53
10.93
12.53
17.13
12.60
14.73
849
16.67
9.93
15.07
17.47
17.07
9.53
548
16.93
12.33
13.53
17.67
14.40
13.60
192
17.13
14.73
18.20
17.87
14.80
13.80
171
17.73
13.53
11.87
18.53
15.93
13.87
228
7.60
2.13
11.00
8.87
6.07
10.47
219
8.47
7.67
11.13
8.87
5.47
9.53
713
8.53
7.07
10.40
9.00
7.60
7.80
701
8.60
8.13
11.40
9.40
4.40
13.53
700
9.27
2.93
13.47
9.60
5.80
12.87
715
9.73
3.80
11.93
9.80
6.27
14.33
709
9.80
4.80
12.60
10.53
7.27
13.13
710
9.80
2.20
13.80
11.20
4.00
12.47
232
10.00
2.93
13.27
11.60
5.87
11.53
310
1.13
12.60
6.13
1.53
12.47
2.13
350
5.73
12.20
7.93
2.40
15.20
1.93
630
6.40
15.73
7.33
3.00
15.53
3.33


35
Corruaator Activity
Figure 11 represent the increase in corrugator activity as pleasure ratings
increase. The pleasure rating is the mean pleasure rating for each rank. Each
line is the regression line and the correlation coefficient between the corrugator
response and pleasure ratings appears in the legend for both genders at each
age level. As expected, corrugator muscle activity decreases for males and
females In all three age groups as pleasure increases. This relationship Is
statistically significant (p < .05) for all age and gender groups except male
children. There were 11 children (out of 30) who had significant negative within
subject correlations (r => .38), 9 adolescents (out of 30), and 11 young adults
(out of 30).
Skin Conductance
As found in previous studies using college undergraduates (Lang et al.,
1993), there is an increase in skin conductance as rated arousal increases.
Figure 12 displays the relationship for each gender and age group. The
increase in skin conductance is significantly (p < .05) related to increases in
arousal ratings for females at each age level and approaches significance for
adolescent males (p < .07). Only one child, no adolescents, and 1 adult had a
significant (r => .38) within subject correlation between rated arousal and
changes in skin conductance.
Heart Rate
There was little relationship between heart rate and either rated pleasure
or arousal. The relationship with pleasure is shown in figure 13. When
analyzed by gender and age group, only adolescent females show a significant
effect, £(1,25) = 12.19; p<.01, but children and adolescents of both genders


12
similar to adults and that the Self-Assessment Mannequin Is a useful measure
of children's verbal responses to pictures.
Phvsiolooical Response Patterns to Affective Stimuli
As pointed out earlier, blo-informational theory describes emotional
responding in terms of three output systems. Given that the verbal response
system shows similarity in children's and adults responses to affective pictures,
the next step Is to Investigate the physiological response system. There are a
number of consistent physiological changes associated with emotional states
and for most adults and children measurement of changes in heart rate, skin
conductance, and facial muscle activity have been a reliable Indicator of
change in emotional state.
Physiological responses have been used In clinical research to assess
fear and anxiety. In adults, heart rate acceleration and increases in skin
conductance are associated with high fear states, such as phobia. For
example, Cook, Melamed, Cuthbert, McNeil, and Lang (1988) found that phobic
patients showed significant increases in heart rate and skin conductance when
imagining scenes related to their specific phobia.
This response pattern can be found in children, as well. In one study of
60 asthmatic children between 10 and 15 years old, significant heart rate
increases were found for both fear- and anger-related imagery. Children did
not show heart rate increases when imagining neutral scenes (Tal & Miklich,
1976). Melamed, Yurcheson, Fleece, Hutcherson, and Hawes (1978) found
that skin conductance increase during viewing of a video of a dental exam was
related to reported dental fears. These studies demonstrate that physiological
measures can index fear in adults and children.
A study of the relationship between physiological responses and the
emotional dimensions of valence and arousal for adults can be found in Lang et


29
20
18
16
14
12
£
I 10
o
0.
8
6
4
2
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Arousal
Figure 9. Young adults pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures In the
laboratory.
Males
o Females
CP
i 1 i 1 r~


44
There was a significant main effect of picture valence, F(2,83)=4.70; £=.01, with
greater deceleration occurring in the context of unpleasant, compared to
pleasant, pictures.
The test of the separate developmental groups helps to clarify the
interaction between age group and valence. Independent MANOVAs for each
age group. Analysis of childrens heart rate revealed more deceleration to
unpleasant material relative to pleasant material (linear trend), F(1,28)=6.46;
£=.02. The adolescents show a similar pattern, with unpleasant slides showing
significantly more deceleration than pleasant slides (linear trend), F(1,28)=8.99;
£=.01. There was no significant effect of valence in heart rate for
undergraduates. None of the age groups demonstrated any differences
between genders.
Table 8. Mean change in heart rate (in beats per minute) during slide viewing
for pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.
Males Females
Aae GrouD
Pleasant
Neutral UnDleasant
Pleasant
Neutral
UnDleasant
Children
-.80
-1.79
-2.55
-1.25
-1.54
-2.42
Adolescents
-.86
-1.42
-1.79
.09
-.76
-2.14
Adults
-1.68
-.98
-1.36
-1.33
-1.02
-.85
Startle Modulation
A multivariate analysis of the full sample revealed a marginally significant
difference as a function of picture valence, F(2,83)=3.08; £<.06. The linear
trend was significant, £(1,84)=4.73; £<.04, indicating that startles elicited while
viewing unpleasant pictures were larger than startles elicited while subjects
viewed pleasant pictures. There were no significant main effects for age or
gender, nor any interactions with valence.


65
judgments: Technical report 1a. Gainesville, FI: The Center for Research
in Psychophysiology.
Lang, P. J., Greenwald, M. K., & Bradley, M. M. (1988). The international
affective picture system standardization procedure and initial group results
for affective judgments: Technical report 1b. Gainesville, FI: The Center for
Research in Psychophysiology.
Lang, P. J., Greenwald, M. K., & Bradley, M. M. (1990). The international
affective picture system standardization procedure and initial group results
for affective judgments: Technical report 1c. Gainesville, FI: The Center for
Research in Psychophysiology.
Lang, P. J., Greenwald, M. K., Bradley, M. M., & Hamm, A. O. (1993). Looking at
pictures: Affective, facial, visceral, and behavioral reactions.
Psychophysiology. 30. 261-273.
Mehrabian, A., & Russell, J. A. (1974). An approach to environmental
psychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Melamed, B. G., Yurcheson, R., Fleece, E. L, Hutcherson, S., & Hawes, R.
(1978). Effects of film modeling on the reaction of anxiety related behaviors
in individuals with varying levels of previous experience in the stress
situation. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology. 46. 1357-1367.
Moland, M. & Whissell, C. M. (1993). Children's understanding of facial
expressions: III. Adults' categorical and dimensional responses to
children's drawings. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 77. 11-15.
Patrick, C. J., Cuthbert, B. N., & Lang, P. J. (1994). Emotions in the criminal
psychopath: Fear image processing. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
103. 523-534.
Russell, J. A., & Bullock, M. (1985). Multidimensional scaling of emotional facial
expressions: Similarities from preschoolers to adults. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology. 48, 1290-1298.
Russell, J. A., & Bullock, M. (1986). On the dimensions preschoolers use to
interpret facial expressions of emotion. Developmental Psychology. 22. 97-
102.
Russell, J. A., & Ridgeway, D. (1983). Dimensions underlying children's emotion
concepts. Developmental Psychology. 19, 795-804.
Schneirla, T. C. (1959). An evolutionary and developmental theory of biphasic
processes underlying approach and withdrawal. In M. R. Jones (Ed.),
Nebraska symposium on motivation (pp. 1-42). Lincoln: Nebraska
University Press.


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08554 7643


DISCUSSION
This study was a first effort at extending to younger populations a
methodology frequently used to study emotions in adults. Ratings on two
emotional dimensions were found to be related to physiological and behavioral
measures. Specifically, pleasure was related to corrugator EMG activity when
examined with respect to either the subjects own pleasure ratings or a priori
valence classifications. Also, changes in skin conductance were related to
subjects own ratings of arousal, as expected. Heart rate was sensitive to
picture valence when looked at by a priori categories, but not by subjects own
ratings. Startle magnitude was only a weak indicator of the affective content of
pictures, but in the overall sample, startles elicited while participants viewed
unpleasant pictures were larger than those elicited during viewing of pleasant
pictures. There were interesting interactions between gender, age, and picture
valence affecting the magnitude of the startle reflex. These are the issues that
loom largest in the present study, indicating that the picture paradigm and
startle probe may be useful in the investigation of emotional development and
may be sensitive to gender difference in the development of emotional
responding.
Looking across age groups, in one form or another, all of the measures
reflected changes as a function of picture content. Utilizing a priori valence
categorization, corrugator EMG, skin conductance change, heart rate, startle
magnitude, baseline orbicularis oculi EMG, and viewing time all differentiated
pleasant from unpleasant pictures. Baseline orbicularis oculi EMG and viewing
time reflected differences due to the arousal associated with valence
categories. These differences are consistent with Lang et al. (1993) and
51


RESULTS
Affective Ratinas
Comparison Between Normative and Laboratory Results
Figures 7, 8, and 9 show the location of each slide in the space defined
by pleasure and arousal ratings in the present study for children, adolescents,
and adults, respectively. Dominance, as found previously in children and
adults, was highly correlated with pleasure (r=.91; c<.01 ) and did not account
for a significant amount of variance independent of pleasure ratings. Therefore,
dominance is not included in the present discussion. The IAPS slides used In
this study, their description, normative ratings, and the ratings from the present
study are listed in appendix C.
Looking at the graphic representation of the affective space filled by the
pictures used in this study and comparing them to normative ratings of the same
pictures (see figures 4, 5, and 6 for children, adolescents, and adults,
respectively) it is clear that the location in affective space did not remain stable,
particularly for the youngest age group. Keeping in mind that the normative
ratings had a scale of 1 to 9 and the laboratory ratings are on a scale from 0 to
20, it appears that young children did not find the unpleasant pictures as
arousing as their peers who were used in the normative study. This is
confirmed by looking at the correlations. Notice in table 1 that all the
correlations between normative and laboratory pleasure ratings are above .90,
but the correlations between normative and laboratory arousal ratings drops
below .80 for female children and down to .50 for male children.
26


20
Viewing time was counted to the nearest millisecond and recorded by an
IBM XT computer. The same computer presented the Self-Assessment Manikin
(Lang, 1980) and recorded valence, arousal, and dominance ratings. Ratings
were on a scale from 0 to 20 and a joystick was used to manipulate the SAM
figure.
Stimulus Materials
Stimuli were selected from a set of 60 pictures previously rated on the
dimensions of pleasure, arousal, and dominance. Stimuli were selected on the
basis of their overall ratings, across age groups, in order to find a set of stimuli
that would provoke strong emotions in all age groups. Twenty-seven of the
original pictures were selected, nine that were high on both pleasure and
arousal (pleasant), nine that were low on pleasure, but high on arousal
(unpleasant), and nine that were in the center of the pleasure scale and low in
arousal (neutral). All pictures were within ethical standards for eliciting emotion
in children. Figures 4, 5, and 6 show the normative ratings for the slides used in
the present study for children, adolescents, and adults, respectively.
Procedure
Participants came to the laboratory and were seated in a comfortable
waiting room where the procedure was explained and informed consent
obtained. For children, the procedure was explained to them while their parent
was present. After obtaining informed consent from subjects and their parents
(for children and adolescents), participants were led into a small (3.0 x 2.4 m)
sound-attenuated room and seated in a reclining chair. Skin conductance
sensors were placed on the palm of the left hand of the participant after
cleaning the palm with water. The left forearm and right collarbone were
prepared by scrubbing the sites with an alcohol pad, and then the heart rate
sensors were attached. Corrugator and orbicularis oculi sites were prepared


5
Measurement of Stimulus Dimensions
In order to determine whether the affective states elicited by pictures can
be adequately described by a finite number of dimensions, it is important to
investigate how particular stimuli are represented in the two-dimensional space.
The International Affective Picture System (IAPS, Center for Study on Emotion
and Attention, 1994) is a set of color pictures depicting a wide range of
emotional scenes that currently has normative (college undergraduate) ratings
of valence, arousal, and dominance for hundreds of different pictures. To
explore the nature of this space, an ongoing series of studies is being
conducted at the University of Florida. The Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM)
affective rating system devised by Lang (1980) is used for ratings. In this
system, a graphic figure depicting each dimension on a continuously varying
scale is used to indicate emotional reactions. As can be seen in figure 1, SAM
ranges from a smiling, happy figure to a frowning, unhappy figure when
representing the valence dimension; similarly, SAM ranges from an excited,
wide-eyed figure to a relaxed, sleepy figure for the arousal dimension.
Dominance is represented by a small, submissive SAM at one end and a large,
dominant SAM at the other end. In this version of SAM, the subject can place
an 'X' over any of the 5 figures in each scale, or between any two figures.
Using SAM, hundreds of college undergraduates have rated over five
hundred pictures in the IAPS. The pictures sample a wide range of emotional
contents, including babies, opposite-sex nudes, romantic couples, sports
events, food, nature scenes, household objects, snakes, spiders, guns,
cemeteries, mutilated bodies, and more. Figure 2 shows each slide located in
emotional space as defined by its mean valence and arousal rating. These
stimuli evoke reactions across the entire range of each dimension: mean
valence ratings for these slides range


19
eye with Sensor Medic miniature Ag/AgCI surface electrodes (see Lang et al.,
1990). The raw EMG signal was amplified (x30000) using a Coulbourn
Bioamplifier, and bandpass filtered with a low cutoff of 90 Hz and a high cutoff of
250 Hz and digitally sampled at 20 Hertz (Hz) until a startle probe was
delivered. The amplified and filtered signal was rectified and integrated using a
Coulbourn Contour-Following Integrator with a time constant of 125 ms. This
signal was digitally sampled at 1000 Hz from 50 ms before startle probe onset
until 250 ms after probe onset.
Corrugator activity was measured by recording EMG activity over the left
corrugator muscle region with Sensor Medics miniature Ag/AgCI surface
electrodes filled with electrolyte. The raw EMG signal was amplified (x30,000)
using a Coulbourn Bioamplifier, and bandpass filtered with a low cutoff of 90 Hz
and a high cutoff of 1000 Hz. The amplified and filtered signal was rectified and
integrated using a Coulbourn Contour-Following Integrator with a time constant
of 500 ms.
Heart rate was measured from sensors attached to the left forearm and
right collarbone of participants, amplified by a Coulbourn amplifier. The output
of the amplifier was fed into a Schmidt trigger which detected R-waves and sent
a signal to the Northgate computer. Interbeat intervals were recorded as the
time between R-waves to the nearest millisecond. Heart rate was then
calculated off-line following Graham (1980).
Skin conductance was transduced with Sensor Medic standard
electrodes filled with a .05 Molar Unibase cream electrolyte (Fowles, Christie,
Edelberg, Grings, Lykken, & Venables, 1981) affixed to the hypothenar
eminence of the left palm. A Coulbourn skin conductance coupler maintained a
constant voltage (.5 volts) across electrodes. The analog signal was digitally
sampled at 20 Hz.


34
Figure 10. Mean arousal rating for picture valence categories by age group,
different levels (1 through 27) of the affective dimension (pleasure or arousal).
A mean rating for each rank is also computed. Getting the mean rating for each
rank keeps the ratio properties of the scale. The mean physiological response
is then plotted by the mean rating for each rank (27 pairs of numbers). The
highest rank for each participant, therefore, will coincide with the highest rating
on the specific dimension and should coincide with the largest physiological
response. The physiological response can then be ordered along increasing
levels of the affective dimension and changes in the magnitude of the response
can be seen.


13
al. (1993). Participants saw a series of color pictures while a variety of
responses were collected, sampling from all three response systems. Heart
rate, skin conductance, and corrugator and zygomatic EMG were all recorded.
Viewing time, interest ratings, and SAM ratings of pleasure and arousal were
also collected. Lang et al. found that corrugator EMG, zygomatic EMG, and
heart rate acceleration were all highly correlated with ratings of pleasure. It is
Important to note here that, contrary to the clinical findings, unpleasant pictures
did not generate heart rate acceleration; rather, they generated strong
deceleration. This difference may be due to the fact that the pictures did not
include stimuli that were particularly relevant to specific fears of the participants,
as in the clinical studies. The two states may, therefore, have been qualitatively
different with clinically relevant stimuli provoking the defensive response
associated with high heart rate acceleration, and the nonclinical sample
showing greater orienting to the unpleasant pictures.
Skin conductance, on the other hand, was highly correlated with rated
arousal for both pleasant and unpleasant slides. Further, when the physiology
measures were combined with the ratings and viewing time measures in a
principal components analysis, two factors, accounting for 76 percent of the
variance, were derived. The first factor included pleasure ratings, corrugator
EMG, heart rate acceleration, and zygomatic EMG as variables with high factor
loadings. Arousal ratings, interest ratings, viewing time, and skin conductance
loaded onto factor 2.
These loadings support the findings of Greenwald, Cook, and Lang
(1989) and suggest that the dimensions of pleasure and arousal can
adequately describe the physiological responses to affective pictures. These
studies also show that facial muscle activity, heart rate, and skin conductance
are reliable measures of affective responses in the human.


40
show an upward trend, indicating that as pictures become unpleasant, heart
rate deceleration increases. This relationship does not appear when looking at
data from the adults participating in this study, but has been seen in a number of
other studies (Greenwald et al., 1989; Lang et al., 1990; Lang et al., 1993).
Startle Magnitude
No age group showed a significant relationship between rated pleasure
and startle magnitude. Looking at figure 14, however, some interesting points
should be noted. In children, males and females show opposite relationships
between rated pleasure and startle magnitude. By adolescence, this gender
difference has decreased, and the young adult participants show no gender
difference in their responses. What makes this more interesting is that females
at all age levels show the expected negative relationship between startle
magnitude and rated pleasure. Males, however, show a positive relationship in
children, moving to a negative relationship in young adults.
Startle magnitude was related to arousal in adult women, but this may be
due to the negative correlation this group had between pleasure and arousal
ratings (see table 2). Baseline orbicularis oculi activity showed no relationship
to pleasure or arousal.
Analysis of Physiological Responses bv Affective Categories
Affective categories are based on normative ratings of slide valence.
Each slide was classified as either pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant. The same
slides fall Into the same categories for each age and gender group. Responses,
therefore, are to a given set of stimuli of a particular valence category.
Corruaator Activity
A MANOVA with sex and age group was done. There was a significant
interaction between valence and gender, F(2,83)=3.28; p=.04, with females
showing more modulation of facial EMG than males. Specifically, females,


52
support the idea that affective responses are fundamentally organized by the
dimensions of pleasure and arousal.
Stimulus Selection. Categorization, and Judgments of Characteristics
It is a difficult task to find pictures that reliably elicit similar emotional
states in children as young as seven years of age and adults in their twenties.
While an effort was made to select stimuli that would work across the age range,
affective judgments and physiological responses indicate that for some groups,
especially male children, this effort was not successful. In previous research
using college undergraduates, much more arousing affective material was used
(Bradley, Lang, & Cuthbert, 1993; Cuthbert et al., in press; Lang et al., 1993;
Simons & Zelson, 1985). Pleasant pictures used for adults include erotica and
sexually explicit pictures. Unpleasant pictures include mutilated human faces
and bodies, as well as disgusting pictures of filth and squalor. The school
administrators who provided subjects for the standardization sample ruled that
this material was outside the bounds of what is appropriate for children
Finding appropriate material clearly presents a problem for experiments
involving affective modulation of the startle reflex. Cuthbert et al. (in press)
show that strong affective modulation of the startle reflex is found only at high
levels of arousal, and falls off rapidly as arousal diminishes. In order to
compare how pictures used in the present study compare to pictures used in
previous studies, table 11 shows the mean normative pleasure and arousal
ratings for pleasant and unpleasant pictures used in the present study and in
the moderate and high arousal pictures in the Cuthbert et al. (in press) study.
This table shows that the pictures used in the present study are similar in
pleasure and arousal to the pictures used for the moderate arousal set by
Cuthbert et al. While the ratings of pleasure do not differ significantly, the
ratings of arousal are significantly higher (one-tailed test) for the high arousal


56
The present study does not have the same subjects using both ratings methods
and therefore cannot resolve this issue. However, as will be discussed in a
later section, this issue can be resolved in future studies.
Physiological responses of children reflect varying levels of consistency
across genders with affective ratings, as well. The consistent gender difference
is always in favor of female children showing greater modulation in the
predicted direction. Changes in corrugator muscle activity covaried with ratings
of pleasure for female children, but not for males. Female, but not male
children, also showed a relationship between rated arousal and skin
conductance. While heart rate and startle magnitude were not related to
children's pleasure ratings, other relationships emerged when a priori valence
categories, based on normative ratings were used to organize the stimuli.
There was significantly more heart rate deceleration during viewing of
unpleasant pictures, relative to pleasant pictures for both male and female
children. There was an interaction between gender and picture valence for
startle magnitude and changes in corrugator muscle activity, however. For
corrugator activity, the pattern was the same for both genders, but female
children showed greater modulation of their responses. For startle magnitude,
the relationship was more complex. Females showed greater startle magnitude
when eyeblinks were elicited while viewing unpleasant pictures versus
pleasant pictures. Males, conversely, showed inhibition of the startle response
while viewing unpleasant versus pleasant pictures.
Gender differences found in the present study are consistent with
differences in other areas of emotional development. For example, Saarni
(1984) has shown that female children are better at understanding the use of
display rules regulating the expression of emotion. This is attributed to their
higher levels of empathy. Zahn-Waxler, Cole, & Barret (1991) review the


Responses across the age groups were markedly similar. Heart rate
change in children and adolescents showed the same pattern as previously
seen in adults. Affective modulation of skin conductance and corrugator EMG
were also similar to the pattern obtained for adults. Startle blinks were
modulated by valence for undergraduates, but a more complex relationship
between picture content and blink magnitude emerged for children and
adolescents.
In a free viewing period, all age groups looked at pleasant and
unpleasant pictures longer than neutral pictures. Adults and adolescents,
however, looked at unpleasant pictures longer than both pleasant and neutral.
An analysis of each age groups ratings of the pictures reveals that all age
groups rated the pictures similarly in pleasure, but young children rated the
unpleasant slides less arousing than did adolescents or adults.
Taken together, these data indicate that children respond to affective
pictures in ways very similar to adults. There were differences in picture
preference, but the physiological response patterns for pleasant, neutral, and
unpleasant pictures was consistent across age groups. Implications for the
measurement of affective state in children is also discussed.
vii


22
Adolescents
Arousal
Figure 5. Adolescents' pleasure and arousal ratings of affective
pictures in the normative study.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Mark McManis received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and
his Master of Arts In general psychology, both from the University of West
Florida. After graduation, he intends to pursue a career In academic teaching
and research.
88


METHOD
Subjects
Thirty children (15 female, 15 male) seven to ten years of age, 30
adolescents (15 male, 15 female) 12 to 15 years of age, and 30 undergraduates
(15 female, 15 male) from the University of Florida participated in this study.
Children and adolescents were recruited from Alachua County, Florida, through
a random sample of names drawn from the school district rolls. These children
received 10 dollars for their participation. The undergraduates were students in
an Introductory Psychology course who fulfilled a class requirement for their
participation. One subject, a seven-year-old male, withdrew from the
experiment saying he was bored. One seven-year-old male was dropped from
the final analysis because he did not stay on task, as determined by
observation.
Apparatus and Response Measurement
The timing, stimulus control, and data acquisition of experimental events
was controlled by a Northgate 486 computer. Slide duration was controlled by
a Gerbrands electronic shutter. Slides were projected onto a white matte
screen approximately 2 m. in front of the participants by a Kodak Ektagraphic III
slide projector. Startle stimuli were 95 dB bursts (50 ms) of white noise
produced by a Coulbourn Noise Generator and presented binaurally through
headphones. The noise was calibrated using a Guest model 1700 precision
impulse sound level meter.
The startle eyeblink reflex was measured by recording
electromyographic (EMG) activity over the orbicularis oculi region under the left
18


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doclqr qf .Philosophy.
Petr y. Lang, Chairman
Graduate Research Professor of
Psychology'-
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
W. Keith Berg, Cochairman
Professor of Psychology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion It conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, In scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
rgate
Margaret M. Bradley
Associate Scientist of Psyo
ology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Bruce I
Associate Professor of Clinical and
Health Psychology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
'Ifl
7^
M. J^ff^y'Frrar
Associate Professor of Psychology


A Beats/min. A (iVolts
Change in Corrugator Muscle
Activity
Change in Skin
Conductance
1.25
1.00
0.75
0.50
0.25
0.00
0.25
0.50
0.75
Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant


84
Normative Slide Ratings: Adolescents (12 -14)
Males Females
Slide
Pleasure
Arousal
Pleasure
Arousal
112
4.51
6.19
2.84
6.24
128
4.16
5.19
3.40
5.48
130
3.76
6.97
2.84
6.28
171
7.70
5.84
8.28
4.88
175
7.35
5.38
7.92
4.28
192
7.60
6.32
8.12
5.20
219
5.08
2.89
4.88
2.72
228
5.33
3.50
4.92
3.12
232
5.43
2.54
5.88
3.24
292
6.62
4.78
6.52
4.40
350
4.14
6.00
2.12
6.33
353
2.78
7.19
1.60
6.56
548
6.78
5.43
8.24
5.44
623
2.97
7.56
2.08
7.00
630
3.54
6.89
2.08
7.08
637
3.60
6.19
2.68
6.48
700
4.73
2.11
4.96
2.00
701
5.16
1.84
5.25
2.04
709
4.51
1.87
5.28
3.32
710
5.35
2.76
5.40
2.84
713
5.24
3.16
4.96
2.83
715
5.08
2.68
4.92
2.32
733
7.76
5.87
7.48
5.16
741
7.08
5.16
6.72
4.92


70
Looking up at the screen, you can see that there is a big X on the picture of
SAM that shows him smiling very big. This is where you would put a mark if the
slide you had just seen made you feel happy, glad, cheerful, pleased, good, or
hopeful. (Adv. projector) On this slide, there is an X on the picture of SAM
frowning. This is where you would put your mark if you felt unhappy, scared,
angry, bad, or sad. If you feel neutral, that is you, didn't feel either happy or
unhappy, then you can put an X over the picture of SAM that is not smiling or
frowning. (Show with laser pointer) (Adv. projector) If you felt in
between being very happy and a little bit happy, you could put an X between
pictures of SAM, like this.
Now let's look at the second feeling. This row shows pictures of SAM
when SAM is very still and his eyes are closed. You would use this SAM if you
felt very calm, relaxed, bored or sleepy. You would use the SAM on the other
side of the row, if you felt very excited, nervous, jittery, active or wide awake on
one side. Notice how it looks like SAM is jumping up and down and his
stomach is excited. This is like when you get excited and can't sit still or like you
have butterflies in your stomach when you are very nervous. Use this row to tell
how excited or calm you felt when you saw the slide. (Adv. projector) If you
are very excited, enthusiastic, nervous, scared, or wide awake you would put an
X over here, like this. (Adv. Projector) If you feel calm, relaxed, or sleepy,
place an X here, like this. (Adv. projector) Just like the first row, you can put
an X between pictures like this. If you felt in between calm and sleepy and very
excited, you could put an X between pictures of SAM, like this.
The third row shows SAM very little and getting bigger and bigger.
Sometimes, you feel unimportant or out of control, bullied, like someone else is
the leader or in charge, or like you can't handle the situation when you watch
the slide. This is when he looks very small. Other times, you feel important or


2
been shown to be reliably related to the affective content of pictures and to
subjects affective reports.
The purpose of this study is to increase our knowledge-base regarding
children's and adolescents' physiological responses to affective stimuli by
determining if the picture paradigm established by Lang and his colleagues is
useful in the study of emotional states in these populations. Within this
paradigm, affective pictures are used to elicit emotional states in the laboratory
and responses are measured using physiological, self-report (i.e., ratings), and
behavioral (i.e., viewing time) methods. This study seeks, within a bio-
informational framework, to determine whether the pattern of responses across
a variety of response systems to affective pictures changes as a function of age.
Organization of Emotions
Dodge (1989) points out that the organizational framework within which
one works plays an important role in the conceptualization of research
questions. While much of the work investigating the development of emotions is
based on the expression of specific emotions (i.e., Ekman, 1984; Izard, 1977) or
cognitive stage development (Case, Hayward, Lewis, & Hurst, 1988; Fischer,
Shaver, & Camochan, 1990; Harris, 1989; Harter & Buddln, 1987), these
approaches tend to limit measurement to a single response system. The
orientation of the present study is based on the work by Lang and his
colleagues (Lang, 1995; Lang, Bradley, & Cuthbert, 1990; Lang et al., 1993). It
is founded on a dimensional view, which assumes that emotion can be defined
in terms of values on a limited number of independent dimensions that organize
affective states. A dimensional organization reduces the vast array of emotional
states into a set of values on the dimensions. Konorskl (1967) developed a
method of classifying emotional behavior based on the underlying motivational
set of the organism. This method allowed a large set of emotions to be defined


85
849
7.95
7.81
8.40
7.48
851
7.81
6.46
7.68
5.80


41
Figure 15. Gender differences in corrugator muscle activity while
viewing pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.
when compared to males, showed less activity in the corrugator muscle when
viewing pleasant pictures, as presented in figure 15. There was also a main
effect, F(2, 83)=19.34; pc.OOl, for valence. There were no interactions with age
group.
Independent MANOVAs were done separately for each age group.
Statistically significant differences in corrugator activity while viewing


60
The lack of increase in skin conductance while viewing pleasant pictures is
consistent with the idea that they were under arousing.
Looking Ahead
A number of issues raised by this study remain unresolved. Future
studies need to address the issue of regarding the particular stimuli used in this
study should be investigated. It may be that there is no set of affective pictures
that can engage the appetitive and aversive motivational systems across a wide
emotional age range. However, it is possible to find particular sets of stimuli for
smaller age ranges that will elicit affective responses. There has been a great
deal of attention recently paid to the sexual and violent content of television
programs. Material similar in content to the television shows that have drawn
the greatest complaints would be a good place to begin the effort of finding
more intense stimuli, as it would help to resolve unstudied issues regarding the
effects of these television programs on children.
The issue of arousal ratings in the laboratory versus the normative
studies needs to be addressed directly in a study involving both paper-and-
pencil and computerized versions of SAM to collect affective ratings of the
pictures. Such a study gives the opportunity for a direct comparison of the two
methods of affective ratings and allows for an evaluation of each presentation
method.
Also of interest is the consistency of gender differences in children. This
needs to be Investigated, as well as the relationship between the methods used
in the present study and other measures showing gender differences in
emotional development. For example, empathy measures can be used to
investigate the relationship between empathy and affective responses to
pictures. Other emotional tasks could be used, as well. Facial expression
recognition or the use of facial display rules could also be included in a study of


Figure 13. The relationship between changes in heart rate and subjects' own pleasure ratings.


Table 4. Mean arousal ratings for each valence category of affective pictures
for males and females participating the present study.
32
Males
Females
Aae GrouD
Pleasant
Neutral Unpleasant PleasanL
Neutral
Unpleasant
Children
14.74
7.02
9.77
15.99
7.69
12.28
Adolescents
11.67
4.63
14.12
13.90
5.86
14.81
Adults
12.63
5.30
14.78
11.16
6.25
15.66
Totals
13.01
5.65
12.89
13.68
6.60
14.25
Relationship between pleasure and arousal ratinas. Previous studies
with college undergraduates have show the pleasure and arousal dimensions
to be orthogonal (Lang & Greenwald, 1988; Lang, Greenwald, & Bradley, 1988;
Lang, Greenwald, & Bradley, 1990). This was true for younger populations, as
well, In the normative study. Looking back at table 2, the correlation between
pleasure and arousal was not significant for any group in the normative study,
but both male and female children show a significant positive correlation
between pleasure and arousal ratings In the laboratory. This means that
pleasant pictures were rated more arousing than unpleasant pictures for
children, but the opposite relationship holds for young female adults. The
strong positive correlation between pleasure and arousal Indicates that children
considered the unpleasant pictures as unpleasant, but did not find them
arousing. Figure 7 shows that male children only rated two unpleasant pictures
as both unpleasant (pleasure < 10) and arousing (arousal > 10). Looking at
figure 9, young women rated all of the unpleasant slides as unpleasant and
arousing.
Childrens pleasure and arousal ratinas. Comparing the relationship
between arousal and valence category across the laboratory and normative


81
310
4.47
15.07
5.80
3.60
16.13
4.20
623
4.93
14.73
7.07
3.60
16.33
3.07
637
5.53
13.47
10.93
3.73
16.60
3.47
130
6.27
15.80
7.47
4.07
14.93
5.13
128
6.53
13.13
6.93
4.20
15.13
6.80
112
7.47
14.93
7.73
4.80
14.13
8.00


4
associated with pleasant hedonic states in the organism and aversive stimuli
associated with unpleasant states. This describes an approach/avoid
dimension that corresponds to pleasure. The intensity of an emotional state is
described in terms of arousal or activation of the organism. The advantage a
dimensional organization offers over discrete emotional states is that the
researcher does not have to determine specific behaviors that correspond with
a given emotion on a one-to-one basis for measurement. The task of the
researcher becomes one of describing the motivational state (appetite or
aversion) of the organism. For example, spontaneous defecation, freezing, and
flight are among the many behaviors classified as fear related. With such a
diverse set of behaviors to code, it is difficult to determine the state of the
organism at the time of measurement (Lang, 1995; Lang et al., 1990; Lang et al.
1993).
Fox (1991) has extended Langs theory to include emotional
development beginning in infancy. Using data from studies with infants, Fox
proposes that there are a limited number of motivational situations for an infant.
Emotional life for the infant, therefore, arises from these limited situations that
can be aligned along the dimensions of approach and withdrawal. Increasing
emotional complexity develops as a function of the blending of approach and
withdrawal tendencies. Also, as motor skills develop, motor response patterns
are added to the infants repertoire of emotional expression and facilitate
approach and withdrawal. There is evidence from EEG studies (Fox, 1991; Fox
& Davidson, 1988) of a neurological basis for a dimensional organization of
emotion. Fox and his colleagues find that EEG and behavioral data show
evidence for two independent motivational systems that direct approach or
withdrawal behaviors. With development, these two system become
recognized as the full spectrum of specific emotions humans report.


71
very big or like you don't need anyone's help. This is when SAM looks very big.
You can use this row to show how you felt when you saw the slide. (Adv.
projector) If you felt grown up and able to handle the situation, then you
would put an X on the big SAM, like this. (Adv. projector) If you felt more like
you couldn't handle the situation and small then you would put an X on the little
SAM, like this. (Adv. projector) You can also put an X In between pictures
like this.
Now we will see some slides and practice using SAM to show how you
felt. Each picture will be on the screen for a little while, and then another slide
will come on telling you to rate the picture you just saw. When you see this
slide, you should mark SAM to show how you felt when you were looking at the
picture. Then, another slide will come on telling you that the next picture is
coming up. I want to remind you that there are no right or wrong answers, just
put down how you felt when you were looking at the slide. Also, please
remember there is no talking. This includes no laughing or making sounds. We
will have to stop the show if you make a lot of noise. If you have a question,
raise your hand and we will come to you. You will have a chance to talk about
the slides and your feelings after the experiment is over.
If you do not want to be in this experiment, you should leave now. Some
children may not like to watch the pictures. If you feel that way now or at any
time during the experiment, you can go back to the classroom.
(Go through demo slides)
Are there any questions?
Now look at your books. On the front, please put your name, your
teacher's name, how old you are right now, and circle whether you are a boy or
a girl.
(Begin slide show)


76
Children (7-10 yrs.) Laboratory Ratings
Males Females
Slide
Number
Pleasure
Arousal
Dominance
Pleasure
Arousal
Dominance
292
13.87
11.40
13.87
17.67
15.20
17.27
849
16.00
16.27
14.47
18.40
17.20
13.93
733
16.80
16.20
18.13
18.40
13.33
11.07
175
17.53
11.93
16.60
19.07
15.67
19.13
548
17.67
14.93
16.80
19.53
17.13
15.33
192
18.33
15.20
16.67
19.80
14.67
18.00
851
18.33
16.00
16.93
20.00
17.40
17.80
741
18.53
15.53
16.33
20.00
15.93
17.20
171
18.60
15.20
17.07
20.00
17.33
18.93
232
7.33
5.60
9.40
9.07
5.87
13.73
219
8.33
4.87
7.93
9.20
7.47
8.33
709
8.33
5.87
8.20
10.87
6.73
13.47
715
8.47
4.47
9.80
11.13
8.40
12.20
228
10.20
8.20
12.20
11.20
8.33
8.27
701
10.33
7.13
9.27
11.67
7.40
14.73
700
10.53
5.73
10.53
11.73
6.87
14.07
710
12.00
9.53
13.27
12.80
7.93
12.53
713
13.53
11.73
14.73
15.33
10.20
12.27
350
2.27
7.00
2.33
0.20
9.33
2.73
630
3.07
7.60
5.67
0.73
11.73
2.60
353
3.47
8.27
4.33
1.00
12.20
2.07


Pleasure
28
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Arousal
Figure 8. Adolescents pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures in the
laboratory.
Males
o Females
!
-o-
oo
0
8
~i 1 r~
i 1 i


TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABSTRACT vi
INTRODUCTION 1
Organization of Emotions 2
Measurement of Stimulus Dimensions 5
Children's Knowledge and Use of Emotional Dimensions 8
Direct Measure of Children's Use of Emotional Dimensions 10
Physiological Response Patterns to Affective Stimuli 12
Affective Modulation of the Human Startle Eyeblink 14
Research Questions 16
METHOD 18
Subjects 18
Apparatus and Response Measurement 18
Stimulus Materials 20
Procedure 20
Physiological Data Reduction and Analysis 25
RESULTS 26
Affective Ratings 26
Comparison Between Normative and Laboratory Results 26
Analysis of Laboratory Ratings 30
Ratings-Physiology Covariation Analysis 33
Corrugator Activity 35
Skin Conductance 35
Heart Rate 35
Startle Magnitude 40
Analysis of Physiological Responses by Affective Categories 40
Corrugator Activity 40
Skin Conductance 42
Heart Rate 43
Startle Magnitude 44
IV


77
310
3.60
7.33
4.80
1.87
11.27
3.20
623
4.33
12.20
4.60
2.20
11.93
2.53
637
4.47
8.60
4.20
2.87
12.47
4.07
130
6.07
12.67
6.80
4.07
10.47
5.47
128
9.33
9.33
10.60
4.27
14.80
4.13
112
11.53
12.47
11.40
4.87
13.33
3.47


64
Greenwald, M. K., Cook, E. W., & Lang, P. J. (1989). Affective judgment and
psychophysiological response: Dimensional covariation in the evaluation
of pictorial stimuli. Journal of Psychophysiology. 3, 51-64.
Grillion, C., Ameli, R., Woods, S. W., Merikangas, K., & Davis, M. (1991). Fear
potentiated startle in humans: Effects of anticipatory anxiety on the acoustic
blink reflex. Psychophysiology. 28. 588-595.
Hamm, A. O., Greenwald, M. K., Bradley, M. M., & Lang, P. J. (1993). Emotional
learning, hedonic change, and the startle probe. Journal of Abnormal
Psychology. 102. 453-465.
Hamm, A. O., Stark, R., & Vaitl, D. (1990). Startle reflex potentiation and
electrodermal response differentiation: Two indicators of two different
processes in Pavlovian conditioning [Abstract]. Psychophysiology. 27, S37.
Harris, P. L. (1989). Children and emotion: The development of psychological
understanding. Oxford: Blackwell.
Harter, S., & Buddin, B. J. (1987). Children's understanding of the simultaneity
of two emotions: A five stage developmental acquisition sequence.
Developmental Psychology. 23, 388-399.
Izard, C. E. (1977). Human emotions. New York: Plenum Press.
Konorski, J. (1967). Integrative activity of the brain: An interdisciplinary
approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lang, P. J. (1980). Behavioral treatment and bio-behavioral assessment:
Computer Applications. In J. B. Sidowski, J. H. Johnson, & T. A. Williams
(Eds.). Technology in mental health care delivery systems fop. 119-137).
Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Lang, P. J. (1985). The cognitive psychophysiology of emotion: Fear and
anxiety. In A. H. Turna & J. D. Maser (Eds.), Anxiety and the anxiety
disorders (pp. 131-170). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Lang, P. J. (1995). The emotion probe: Studies of motivation and attention.
American Psychologist. 50, 372-385.
Lang, P. J., Bradley, M. M., & Cuthbert, B. N. (1990). Emotion, attention, and the
startle reflex. Psychological Review. 97. 377-398.
Lang, P. J., Bradley, M. M., Drobes, D., & Cuthbert, B. N. (1995). Emotional
Perception: Fearful beasts, scary people, sex, sports, disgust, and
disasters. Psychophysiology. 32, S48. [Abstract]
Lang, P. J., & Greenwald, M. K. (1988). The international affective picture
system standardization procedure and initial group results for affective


17
material, or an orienting response, as seen in young adults; and if skin
conductance responses of younger subjects are similar to those seen in college
undergraduates.
Given the similarity in facial expressions across age groups, it is
expected that children and adolescents will display greater corrugator muscle
EMG when viewing unpleasant pictures, relative to pleasant pictures. Previous
studies have demonstrated that children and adolescents show heart rate
changes comparable to those of adults in emotional settings. Children and
adolescents are expected, therefore, to show greater heart rate deceleration
when viewing unpleasant pictures relative to pleasant and neutral pictures.
Skin conductance is expected to vary with arousal. That is, high arousal slides,
regardless of valence, are hypothesized to be related to higher levels of skin
conductance in children and adolescents, as with adults. All of these
relationships are expected to hold for all age groups. Also, affective modulation
of the startle response has been demonstrated in adult and infant populations, it
is hypothesized that children and adolescents will show facilitation of the startle
reflex when elicited while viewing unpleasant pictures, relative to responses
while viewing pleasant pictures.
Changes in the level of arousal for pictures are hypothesized to be
reflected in changes in skin conductance, orbicularis oculi, and viewing time.
As seen previously in studies using young adults (Greenwald et al 1989; Lang
et al., 1993), increases in skin conductance should be related to increases in
rated arousal. This relationship is also hypothesized for orbicularis oculi EMG
and viewing time measures. The outcome of this study, then, is expected to be
a variety of measures related to the affective dimensions of pleasure and
arousal. Developmental differences in these measures and their relationship to
affective dimensions will be explored.


11
123456789
Arousal
Figure 3. Normative ratings of affective slides for children 7 to 15 years
of age.
Similarly high correlations were obtained between older children and
undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .89 for arousal) and for adolescents and
undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .90 for arousal).
Results indicate a high degree of reliability (Cronbachs a ranging from
.97 to .99 for the sample) in children's ratings of emotional pictures. It is also
clear that children verbal responses to emotionally evocative pictures are


21
Children
3
in
ro
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
123456789
Arousal
Figure 4. Children's pleasure and arousal ratings of affective pictures in
the normative study
Males
o Females
j o o o
Vm 0
_ o
rife
-'I
o
--o
i i r


63
Cuthbert, B. N., Bradley, M. M., & Lang, P. J. (in press). Probing picture
perception: Activation and emotion, Psvchoohvsioloov.
Cuthbert, B. N., & Melamed, B. G. (1993). Anxiety and clinical
psychophysiology: Three decades of research on three response systems
in three anxiety disorders. In N. Birbaumer & A. Ohman (Eds.), The
organization of emotions (pp. 93-109). Hogrefe-Huber: Toronto.
Cuthbert, B. N., Schupp, H., McManis, M. H., Hillman, C., Bradley, M. M., & Lang,
P. J. (1995). Cortical slow waves: Emotional perception and processing.
Psychophysiology. 32, S26. [Abstract]
Dodge, K. A. (1989). Coordinating responses to aversive stimuli: Introduction
to a special section on the development of emotion regulation.
Developmental Psychology. 25, 339-342.
Drobes, D. J., & Lang, P. J. (1995). Bioinformational theory and behavior
therapy. In W. O'Donohue & L. Krasner (Eds.), Theories of behavior
therapy: Exploring behavior change (pp. 259-286). Washington, D. C.:
American Psychological Association.
Ekman, P. (1984). Expression and the nature of emotion. In K. Scherer & P.
Ekman (Eds.), Approaches to emotions (pp. 319-344). Hillsdale, NJ:
Erlbaum.
Fernald, A. (1991). Prosody in speech to children: Prelinguistlc and linguistic
function. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Annals of child development, volume 8 (pp. 43-
80). London: Jessica Kingsley.
Fischer, K. W., Shaver, P. R., & Camochan, P. (1990). How emotions develop
and how they organise development. Cognition and Emotion. 4, 81-127.
Fivush, R. (1991). Gender and emotion in mother-child conversations about the
past. Journal of Narrative and Life History. 1.325-341.
Fowles, D. C. (1981). Publication recommendation for electrodermal
measurements. Psvchophvsioloov. 18. 232-239.
Fox, N. A. (1991). If it's not left, it's right: Electroencephalograph asymmetry and
the development of emotion. American Psychologist. 46. 863-872.
Fox, N. A., & Davidson, R. J. (1988). Patterns of brain electrical activity during
facial signs of emotion in 10-month-old Infants. Developmental Psychology.
24, 230-236.
Graham, F. K. (1980). Representing cardiac activity in relation to time. In I.
Martin and P. Venables (Eds.), Techninues In psvchonhvsiolonv.
Chichester: Wiley.


74
leader, you can make SAM get small. If you felt only a little bit controlled, you
can make SAM only a little bit small.
After you press the button on the joystick here, you should look up at the screen
for the next picture. Remember you can look at the picture as long as you like
and then press the button on the joystick. Let's do another practice.
Let's do one last practice to make sure you can remember everything.


Figure 1. The self-assessment manikin used in normative rating studies.


APPENDIX A
CHILDREN'S NORMATIVE SLIDE RATING STUDY
Summary
Pictures depicting various emotional scenes were shown to 123
elementary and middle school students and 20 college undergraduates. Each
subject rated the pool of pictures using the Self-Assessment Mannequin (SAM),
which measures pleasure, arousal, and dominance (Mehrabian & Russell
1974). For pleasure, words like happy, pleased, good, and unhappy, scared,
angry, bad or sad were used in the instructions to describe the endpoints. For
arousal, words like calm, relaxed, bored, sleepy and excited, nervous, or wide
awake described the endpoints. For dominance, endpoint descriptors included
feeling important, being a leader, and feeling unimportant or bullied.
The unlabeled dimensions were represented pictorially on a 9-point
scale. Order of the dimensions on a page was randomized across trials.
Subjects were run in groups of 8 to 25, depending upon each class size.
Sessions were conducted in similar rooms (a classroom) under the same
lighting conditions for each group.
Subjects viewed a warning/preparation slide for 5 seconds, then viewed
each content picture for 6 seconds, immediately after which the ratings were
made. The rating period varied from 15 to 20 seconds, allowing ample time for
ratings.
There were 36 (18 females) young children ranging in age from 7-9
years. There were 47 (25 females) children ranging in age from 10 to 12 years.
67


INTRODUCTION
Lang's (1985) bio-informational theory of emotion has been one of the
most influential in the area of emotional development. Dodge (1989) states that
since its first presentation, the bio-informational theory has had no serious
competitors for the best explanation of emotional experience. Recent reviews
(see Cuthbert & Melamed, 1993; Drobes & Lang, 1995) cover the bio-
informational theory and its contributions to emotion research in more detail. Of
relevance to the current discussion are the types of information that Lang states
are intrinsic to the emotional experience: sensory input, semantic or linguistic
constructs, and physical responses. The responses occurring to perceived
environmental stimuli are fundamental in the experience of emotion and can be
measured in three output systems: verbal, physiological, and behavioral
responses.
Within the framework of the bio-informational theory, a number of studies
(e.g., Bradley, Cuthbert, & Lang, 1990; Bradley, Lang, & Cuthbert, 1993;
Cuthbert, Bradley, & Lang, in press; Lang, Greenwald, Bradley, & Hamm, 1993)
have demonstrated that emotional pictures reliably evoke a wide range of
measurable physical reactions in adults. By measuring responses in the three
output systems described above, much has been learned about emotional
response. Behavioral measures such as viewing time, and verbal report
measures such as affective ratings, have been used in a picture viewing
paradigm that uses a wide variety of standardized affective pictures to elicit
emotional reactions. Physiological measures, including changes in heart rate,
skin conductance, startle eyeblink magnitude, and facial muscle activity have
1


25
view each slide for as long as he or she wished (up to 30s maximum) before
making his or her ratings. The slides were then presented in the same order as
before, and pleasure, arousal, and dominance ratings (always in that order)
were made for each slide. At the end of the procedure, participants were
debriefed and received their compensation.
Physiological Data Reduction and Analysis
Average values for each half-second of data collection were computed.
EMG activity during slide viewing was converted to change from baseline
scores. Pictures were ordered by increasing ratings on pleasure and arousal
and a subjects were averaged within ranks across physiological measure to
produce an average response at each level of pleasure and arousal. Also, an
average over the entire slide viewing period was obtained and then the data
were averaged within subject over all slides of a given valence. The result was
a mean EMG activity during the six second slide period for each valence
category for each subject. Heart rate change from baseline was computed in
the same manner as corrugator, as was skin conductance.
Startle responses were scored off-line for magnitude of change from
baseline, latency from probe to the beginning of the eyeblink response, latency
from the beginning of the response to the peak of the response, and the
baseline orbicularis oculi activity before the probe was delivered.


82
Normative Slide Ratings: Children (7-10 yrs. old)
Males Females
Slide
Pleasure
Arousal
Pleasure
Arousal
112
4.48
6.87
3.96
6.85
128
5.13
5.35
4.93
5.41
130
5.04
7.17
3.52
7.41
171
8.70
4.91
8.85
5.78
175
8.48
5.52
8.56
5.26
192
8.52
5.91
8.93
7.04
219
5.91
2.91
5.67
2.22
228
5.91
3.04
5.04
1.96
232
5.91
2.96
6.37
2.26
292
7.52
4.13
8.19
6.74
350
3.09
7.04
1.89
7.41
353
2.48
7.39
1.22
7.59
548
8.17
5.91
8.63
6.70
623
3.74
7.87
2.15
7.48
630
2.35
8.00
1.93
7.67
637
4.41
6.57
3.12
5.50
700
6.26
2.73
5.63
2.07
701
5.57
3.22
5.82
2.15
709
6.00
2.96
5.74
2.33
710
5.96
2.61
5.70
2.30
713
5.77
3.32
5.65
2.31
715
6.13
2.91
5.41
2.15
733
8.26
6.26
8.82
6.26
741
8.44
5.09
8.67
5.44


59
corrugator activity as pleasure ratings increased, and greater skin conductance
as arousal ratings increased. Females showed a stronger relationship between
skin conductance and arousal, but males showed a relationship in the same
direction.
Looking at a priori valence categories, three results stand out as
unanticipated. While corrugator activity viewing unpleasant pictures was
greater than that during pleasant pictures, it was not greater for unpleasant
versus neutral. Indeed, looking at the range of change from baseline, it appears
that the difference between pleasant and neutral/unpleasant is due to a
decrease in activity while viewing pleasant pictures. The lack of an increase in
corrugator activity for unpleasant pictures may be due to the specific pictures
used in this study. The unpleasant pictures used in this study were less
arousing (see table 11) than pictures typically shown to adult populations In this
paradigm, thus, less modulation of affect measures could be expected.
Another unexpected finding was that heart rate deceleration was not
greater during viewing of unpleasant versus pleasant pictures. This, too,
appears to be a function of the affective characteristics of the specific pictures
used in this study. Among unpleasant pictures, the highest arousing material
shows more sustained heart rate deceleration (Lang et al., 1995). The
limitations of the pictures due to the exclusion of erotic and other highly
arousing material makes the adult heart rate inconsistent with previous studies.
As with adolescents, adults skin conductance showed an increase only
to the unpleasant pictures. Previous studies using college undergraduates
have shown skin conductance increases for both pleasant and unpleasant
pictures if the picture content is sufficiently arousing (Cuthbert et al., in press;
Cuthbert, Schupp, McManis, Hillman, Bradley, & Lang, 1995; Lang et al., 1995).


73
unhappy, you can make SAM frown just a little. You can make SAM smile or
frown as much as you want to show us how you felt when you were looking at
the slide. If you didn't feel happy or unhappy, you can make SAM's mouth a
straight line. When you have SAM looking the way you felt, you press the
button on the joy stick to record your answer. Then the next rating will come up.
Remember to move the joystick back and forth.
Now think about how Calm vs. Aroused the picture made you feel. If you felt
very excited, like you couldn't sit still, like you have butterflies in your stomach,
nervous or nervous, or wide awake you should move the joystick all the way to
the right. You can see that SAM is jumping up and down and the dots are
moving around alot. If you only felt a little bit excited, you can make SAM jump
slower and the dots will move around slower.
If you felt very calm, relaxed, bored, or sleepy you can make SAM stop
jumping and close his eyes. If you only felt a little bit calm, you can make SAM's
eyes close just a little. If you didn't feel excited or calm, you can make SAM
stand still with his eyes all the way open. You press the button on the joystick to
record your answer and then the next rating will come on.
Now you need to move the joystick back and forth again.
Now think about how In control vs. Controlled the picture made you feel. If the
picture made you feel important, very big, or in control of the situation, you can
make SAM get very big. If you felt only a little bit important, you can make SAM
a little big. If you felt unimportant, controlled, bullied, or like someone else Is the


30
Table 1. Correlations between normative and laboratory settings for rated
pleasure and arousal.
Pleasure
Arousal
Group
Males
Females
Males
Females
Children
.93
.98
.50
.79
Adolescents
.91
.99
.94
.93
Adults
.91
.96
.86
.91
Table 2. Correlations between Pleasure and
Study and the Laboratory Study.
Arousal Ratings In the Normative
Normative
Laboratory
Group
Males
Females
Males
Females
Children
-.26
-.07
.73***
.44*
Adolescents
.04
-.24
.20
.01
Adults
.08
-.23
-.14
-.44*
Note: *p<.05;
***p<.001
Analysis of Laboratory Ratings
Pleasure ratings. Table 3 shows that females consistently rated
unpleasant pictures more aversive than did males across age groups, resulting
in a significant Interaction between gender and valence in pleasure ratings, £(2,
83) = 7.97; p <.001, in the overall, with post hoc analyses confirming that
females rated unpleasant pictures as less pleasant than males. Differences in
the way different age groups rated the pictures, £(2, 83) = 5.22; p < .001, may
reflect some age related biases In specific preferences of Items and events
depicted In the pictures. Post hoc analyses, with Bonferonl corrections for
multiple comparisons, confirmed that children rated the pleasant slides as more


54
children showed strong corrugator responses to the pictures in the present
study. There are also a number of studies showing that children are sensitive to
non-vocal verbal cues of emotion (Fernald, 1991; Fernald, 1993). The group
setting, therefore, may have offered children with strong reactions to the
affective pictures an opportunity to communicate their reactions, resulting in
higher affective ratings for the pictures.
Adolescents and adults, however, rated the pictures in the present study
in the same way as participants in the normative study. Children were also
consistent across studies in their ratings of pleasure and dominance. It is only
childrens arousal ratings that were inconsistent. This issue is discussed further
in the context of other emotional responses in the following section.
Development of Responses to Affective Pictures
The bio-informational approach sets forth three response systems that,
taken together, describe the emotional response of the individual. The present
study measured responses in each of these systems in order to determine if the
picture paradigm is an effective method of investigating emotional development.
When measures for each age group are looked at in terms of a complete
system, it indicates that the picture viewing paradigm is, indeed, a useful
method of investigating emotional development. Issues regarding gender
differences that arise from this investigation also become clear as each age
group is considered separately. Age and gender interact with picture valence in
a complex pattern of affective responding within this paradigm.
Children's Responses to Affective Pictures
Looking first at children's affective judgments of emotional pictures, it is
clear that the stimuli in this study did not get the expected ratings. Particularly,
the unpleasant pictures were not rated as high in arousal as expected, given
the data from the normative study. While unexpected, there are a few possible


Figure 11. The relationship between changes in corrugator activity and subjects' own pleasure ratings.
CO
05


69
choose to not be in this study later, after you hear more about it. Anyone who
does not want to go can stay here and continue working.
GO TO EXPERIMENT ROOM
We are here to show you some pictures. We need to know how you feel
when you see these pictures so that we can learn more about children's
feelings. You will see lots of slides showing different things that may make you
feel happy or unhappy, excited or relaxed, or maybe even angry, scared, or
thrilled. Every child will feel differently about each slide. There are no wrong
answers. Whatever you feel is the right answer to put on the page. What we
are doing today is very important. You need to listen carefully to the instructions
so you will be able to fill everything out correctly. Also, during the slide show it
is very important that you not talk or laugh or make comments to your
classmates. If you talk, the experiment will be ruined and we will have to go
back to the classroom. Does everyone understand? This is very important.
To help you tell us how you felt when you saw the slide, we are going to
use SAM. You each have a page that has SAM on it. Is there anyone who
doesn't have a copy of SAM, please hold up your hand? (Pause) SAM has
helped lots of people tell us how they feel. OK, please turn the page so that you
can see the number three, like this (show correct side).
After you see each slide, you will be able to tell us how you felt when you
looked at the slide by marking the picture of SAM that best shows how you felt.
Again, there are no right or wrong answers. Just tell us how you felt when you
saw the slide.
Looking at the page, you see that the first row has five pictures of SAM.
Notice that on one side, SAM is frowning, on the other side, SAM is smiling, and
in the middle, SAM is not smiling or frowning. These pictures are in order from
a very unhappy SAM to a very happy SAM. (Turn on slide projector).


10
the adults strongly predicted their category placement. Both categorical and
dimensional ratings were accurate, but interestingly, the dimensional ratings of
fear and disgust better differentiated the two facial expressions than did the
category assignment. This again illustrates that children's emotional concepts
are not independent of the primary emotional dimensions of pleasure and
arousal.
Direct Measure of Children's Use of Emotional Dimensions
To aid in selecting stimuli for the research presented here, a
developmental study of pleasure and arousal ratings of emotional pictures was
conducted. In this normative study, we used 60 of the IAPS pictures and
obtained ratings of emotional responses from a sample of children and
adolescents. Pictures depicting various emotional scenes were shown to 123
elementary and middle school students and 20 college undergraduates. Each
subject rated the pool of pictures using the SAM. For pleasure, words like
happy", "good", and "unhappy", "bad", or sad were used in the instructions to
describe the endpoints. For arousal, words like calm", "bored", and "excited",
nervous", or "wide awake" described the endpoints. Appendix A gives the
complete instructions read to the children.
As can be seen in figure 3, children showed a consistent pattern of
higher arousal pictures being rated as more extreme on the pleasure
dimension. That is, pictures rated highly arousing were also rated as more
pleasant or more unpleasant than pictures rated low in arousal. This pattern is
identical to that found previously with adults. There were significant correlations
between the child and adolescent groups ratings on both pleasure and arousal
dimensions and ratings from the adult undergraduate sample on these
dimensions. Specifically, correlations between young children and
undergraduates were .95 and .88 for pleasure and arousal, respectively.


46
Separate MANOVAs for each age group indicated no significant main
effect for valence in any age group. However, the adults showed a significant
linear effect of valence, F(1,28)=5.78; e<.03, and children had a significant
interaction between gender and valence in the linear trend, F(1,28)=4.87;
£<.04. The top row of table 9 reveals that while females in the youngest age
group showed the expected relationship between valence and startle, males in
this age group exhibited the opposite effect. This confirms the observations
from the covariation analysis.
Table 9. Startle magnitude (A/D units) during slide viewing for pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant pictures.
Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children
188.0
163.3
152.8
274.2
278.3
310.7
Adolescents
339.9
315.6
333.7
251.4
241.9
262.1
Adults
195.9
233.1
234.9
184.8
158.9
203.1
Baseline orbicularis oculi activity
Baseline levels of orbicularis oculi EMG activity were analyzed using a
MANOVA, as well. Table 10 gives the mean baseline levels, which reveal that
adults showed much less baseline activity across gender and picture valence,
relative to children and adolescents. Notice that all male groups and adult
females showed a quadratic pattern of orbicularis oculi activity. That is, EMG
activity during viewing of pleasant and unpleasant pictures is greater, relative to
neutral pictures. There was a significant linear effect of valence, F(1,84)=10.07;
E<.01, with more activity during pleasant pictures. There was also a significant
quadratic effect of valence, E(1,84)=21.95; £<.001, indicating muscle activity
during both pleasant and unpleasant pictures was greater than activity during


9
positively and miserable loading negatively. The second factor was an
arousal factor with words like sleepy on the negative end and full of energy"
at the positive end.
Further evidence that children's emotional concepts can be defined as a
function of two dimensions comes from Russell and Bullock (1985). A sorting
task was assigned to 30 college undergraduates and 42 preschoolers four to
five years of age. The task involved sorting pictures of facial expressions into
two piles of similar emotional expression. This task was repeated for 3, 4, 7,
and 10 piles. Children's groupings and the dimensional structure of the
groupings showed a remarkable similarity to that of adults. Multi-dimensional
scaling generated a two dimensional model (pleasure and arousal) that
accounted for the groupings. Furthermore, correlations between the children
and adults were greater than .90 for both of the dimensions. Another study by
Russell and Bullock (1986) replicated these findings and extended them to
include 2-year-olds. The results here show that even very young children
organize their interpretation of emotional facial expressions in terms of a
biphasic dimensional model of emotions.
The research of Russell and his colleagues shows that children's
emotional concepts can be described in terms of the primary dimensions of
pleasure and arousal. This is supported by a study where adults were asked to
rate drawings of emotional expressions made by children (Moland & Whissell,
1993). Children in grades 2, 4, and 7 produced drawings of several emotions:
Happy, sad, angry, afraid, surprised, and disgusted faces were drawn. Adults
were asked to label the drawings made by the children using the emotion words
provided and also to rate them on the dimensions of pleasure and arousal.
An analysis of the categorization and dimensional ratings showed a
great deal of similarity in the different ratings. The dimensional ratings made by


80
Undergraduates (18
- 24 yrs.) -
Males
Laboratory Ratings
Females
Slide
Number
Pleasure
Arousal
Dominance
Pleasure
Arousal
Dominance
292
13.07
9.53
11.87
11.20
9.73
10.60
849
14.80
10.80
13.13
15.07
11.33
12.67
733
15.87
16.60
7.67
16.27
8.13
13.60
175
16.00
13.80
11.87
16.47
11.87
12.93
548
16.07
8.13
13.33
16.53
9.53
13.20
192
16.20
13.27
13.33
16.73
12.80
12.80
851
16.53
12.73
13.27
17.13
9.93
13.73
741
17.07
12.13
14.07
17.40
11.47
11.20
171
17.20
15.73
14.47
17.60
15.60
9.53
232
9.73
5.93
11.73
8.87
7.20
10.20
219
9.87
4.80
12.07
9.13
8.53
10.73
709
10.27
4.80
12.20
9.73
4.07
10.93
715
10.33
5.40
12.60
9.80
5.60
11.93
228
10.47
2.60
13.93
10.53
5.53
12.13
701
10.60
5.60
13.33
10.67
8.13
8.40
700
10.73
6.87
10.47
10.80
5.00
13.13
710
11.00
4.80
14.53
10.93
6.93
12.40
713
12.00
6.87
11.27
14.07
5.27
13.47
350
1.93
13.87
4.67
1.93
13.27
8.07
630
3.53
16.07
4.40
2.33
17.27
3.87
353
4.27
15.07
6.93
2.67
14.73
5.27


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
There are a number of people who have helped me to achieve my
educational goals. I have benefited from discussions with students and
professors over the years, and received moral support when needed. I wish to
thank by name all of those who have helped me, but space does not permit. I
hope that I have shown sufficient gratitude to those who have offered help and I
would like to reaffirm that gratitude at this time. There are, however, some
people who deserve special thanks for their contributions to my success.
First, without my familys support, I could not have done this. My wife,
Dale, has offered her support to me throughout this process while facing the
same pressures as myself. She and our son, Perry, have been a constant
source of inspiration and strength to me. My mother has also supported me
through the years and I will always be grateful for her strength during hard
times. My father, brothers and sister have all lent their support when called
upon and I am thankful for their comfort. My grandfather, Grumpa, however,
deserves the most credit for challenging me to be my best and strive for the
highest achievements. I only wish he had lived long enough to see his efforts
bear fruit.
Academically, I have had many role models pointing me toward success.
Dr. Samual Mathews was instrumental in my decision to pursue a graduate
degree in psychology and has remained an important figure in my life. All of the
members of my dissertation committee have contributed significantly to my
intellectual growth, both as role models and instructors. In particular, Keith
Berg, Margaret Bradley, and Peter Lang have taught me what it means to be a
ii


55
explanations. First, since the ratings in the present study are based on a
relatively small number of subjects. The ratings in this study may simply reflect
normal variance in ratings, with a small sample giving low arousal ratings to
these particular pictures.
Alternatively, it may be that, unlike adults, SAM as represented on the
computer is different for children than the paper-and-pencil version used in the
normative study. Specifically, the arousal dimension on the computer involves
a picture of SAM that stands still with eyes closed at the lowest point, and as
rated arousal increases, the figure's eyes begin to open and there is movement
in it's center. Beyond the half way point of the scale, SAM's eyes are fully open,
the movement in the center increases, and the figure begins to jump up and
down on the screen. At the highest rating, the figure is jumping up and down
rapidly and there is a great deal of movement in it's center. That is, there are
two sources of animation that increase as ratings increase in the arousal rating
used on the computer: SAM jumps up and down and there is activity in SAMs
midsection. This active figure is very different than the motionless version used
in the normative study (see figure 1). This difference could account for the
differences in judgments found between the two studies.
Looking at childrens physiological and behavioral responses as a
function of arousal, it is not clear that for male children, the unpleasant pictures
elicited the anticipated response. There is little change in skin conductance or
viewing time when male children viewed unpleasant pictures, and the startle
responses to probes during unpleasant pictures were not as expected.
However, heart rate, corrugator, and baseline orbicularis oculi activity showed
change related to unpleasant pictures. Female children show physiological
responses consistent with unpleasant and arousing pictures, but also rated the
unpleasant pictures lower in arousal than did their peers in the normative study.


pleasant than adolescents and adults. Also, for neutral pictures, adolescents
rated them as less pleasant than did adults, but not children. For unpleasant
pictures, there were no age differences.
Table 3. Mean pleasure ratings for each valence category of affective pictures
for males and females participating in the present study.
Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children
17.30
9.90
5.57
19.21
11.44
2.74
Adolescents
16.18
9.09
7.98
16.64
9.87
3.96
Adults
15.87
10.56
5.38
16.04
10.50
3.63
Totals
16.45
9.85
6.31
17.29
10.60
3.44
Arousal ratinas. Looking at arousal ratings within each valence category,
there was a difference In the way males and females rated arousal, F(1, 84) =
4.52; e < .04. Females rated all valence categories higher in arousal than
males. Table 4 gives the means for each valence category by age group and
gender. Notice that both males and females in the youngest age group rated
unpleasant pictures less arousing than adults or adolescents.
Mean arousal ratings for each valence category demonstrated the same
relationships as did the dimensional correlations. That is, children's arousal
ratings were different than adult's and adolescent's. Figure 10 gives each age
levels' mean arousal rating for each valence category. There was an
interaction between age and picture valence, £(4, 166) = 6.94; p < .01. Post hoc
analyses revealed no differences between adults and adolescents, and
children different from both at each valence category.


48
long, but longer than neutral. In the present study, the quadratic trend, testing
pleasant and unpleasant versus neutral, was significant, F(1, 84) = 4.77; p = .03,
indicating that participants liked to look at both pleasant and unpleasant picture
more than neutral pictures. Further investigation, however, reveals that it is
unpleasant pictures that are looked at longer than both pleasant and neutral,
significantly so for adults.
Figure 17. Baseline levels of orbicularis oculi activity
while viewing pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.


SMs.
171
175
192
292
548
733
741
849
851
219
228
232
700
701
709
710
713
715
112
128
130
310
350
353
623
630
637
APPENDIX C
LABORATORY AND NORMATIVE RATINGS FOR PICTURES
Description
3 Puppies
2 Bunnies
Dolphins playing
Clown
Fireworks
Ice cream
M & Ms
Roller coaster
Red sports car
Neutral man
Neutral boy
Girl reading
Rolling pin
Wicker basket
Book
Fire hydrant
Truck
Umbrella
Snake ready to strike
Rat
Pit bull snarling
Burn victim
Man getting mugged on subway
Terrorist with gun in mouth
Aimed gun
Knife
Masked man
75


66
Simons, R. F., & Zelson, M. F. (1985). Engaging visual stimuli and reflex blink
modification. Psychophysiology. 22. 44-49.
Tal, A., & Miklich, D. R. (1976). Emotionally induced decreases in pulmonary
flow rates in asthmatic children, Psychosomatic Medicine. 38. 190-200.
Vrana, S. R Spence, E. L, & Lang, P. J. (1988). The startle probe response: A
new measure of emotion? Journal of Abnormal Psvcholoov. 97. 487-491.
Zahn-Waxler, C., Cole, P. M., & Barrett, K. C. (1991). Guilt and empathy: Sex
differences and implications for the development of depression. In J.
Garber & K. A. Dodge (Eds.), The development of emotion regulation and
dvsreoulation (pp. 243-272). New York: Cambridge.


15
startle response is a robust phenomenon that is maintained as the startle reflex
habituates (Bradley, Lang, & Cuthbert, 1993) and can be used to explore the
time course in the development of emotional responses to slides (Bradley,
Cuthbert, & Lang, 1993).
A recent study extended the study of affective modulation of the startle
response to infants. Balaban (1995) used a picture methodology with 18 infants
(20 weeks old). In her study, pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant slides were
smiling, neutral, and angry adult faces, respectively. The startle probe was a 95
dB, 75 ms burst of white noise. Startle eyeblinks were scored off-line from EMG
activity of the orbicularis oculi. Scoring of eyeblinks quantified the size of the
blink and the latency of the reflex from probe onset. Infant facial expressions,
tongue protrusions, and motor activity were also coded. A supplemental group
of seven infants were run in a similar procedure, but saw only pleasant and
unpleasant faces.
The finding most relevant to the present study is that the magnitude of the
eyeblink reflex was the best measure of whether the infant was looking at a
pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant facial expression. Startle eyeblink magnitude
showed a strong linear relationship to pictured facial expression with 15 of the
original 18 infants showing larger startles to angry faces relative to smiling
faces. This pattern of startle modulation was true for the supplemental group,
also. None of the behavioral measures showed a significant relationship to the
valence of the picture. Results of this study reveal that infants, like adults,
display a significant linear trend in eyeblink magnitude with pleasant slides
inhibiting startles and unpleasant slides facilitating startles. Also, given that the
modulation of the startle response was the only measure that reliably
differentiated picture valence, it may be more sensitive to affective state than the
behavioral measures that were included in this study.


68
There were 40 (17 female) adolescents (13-14 year olds). A control group
consisted of 20 (10 female) college undergraduates, 18-23 years old.
Children showed a consistent pattern of higher arousal pictures being
rated as more extreme on the pleasure dimension. That Is, pictures rated highly
arousing were also rated as more pleasant or more unpleasant than pictures
rated low in arousal. This pattern is Identical to that found previously with
adults. All groups showed very high correlations (ranging from .96 to .99)
between pleasure and dominance ratings, suggesting that these dimensions
are redundant. There were significant correlations between the child and
adolescent groups ratings on both pleasure and arousal dimensions and
ratings from the adult undergraduate sample on these dimensions. Specifically,
correlations between young children and undergraduates were .95 and .88 for
pleasure and arousal, respectively. Similarly high correlations were obtained
between older children and undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .89 for
arousal) and for adolescents and undergraduates (.96 for pleasure and .90 for
arousal).
Coefficient alphas were computed for each age group. Results indicate a
high degree of reliability (a ranging from .97 to .99 for the sample) in children's
ratings of emotional pictures. These results Indicate that children respond
emotionally to pictures in a manner very similar to adults, and that the Self-
Assessment Mannequin is a useful measure of children's feelings.
Ratings Instructions
HI, we are from the University of Florida and we are here to show you
some pictures. Today we will be doing an experiment. If you do not want to
participate or if you think your parents might not want you to be in a research
study you do not have to. Now, those who want to can follow us to the room
where we will be doing the experiment and hear more about it. You can also


53
set used by Cuthbert et at., t(12) = -5.66; p < .001, for pleasant pictures and t(12)
= -1.79; p < .05, for unpleasant pictures.
Table 11. Mean pleasure and arousal ratings for pleasant and unpleasant
pictures used in the present study and the moderate and high arousal pictures
used in Cuthbert et al. (in press).
Pleasant Unpleasant
Picture Set
Pleasure
Arousal
Pleasure
Arousal
Present Study
7.53
4.87
2.70
6.59
Moderate Arousal
7.50
5.54
2.73
6.30
High Arousal
7.64
6.93
2.16
7.07
Since the pictures used in the present study are not high in arousal, they
did not generate high levels of arousal in subjects, as indicated by their ratings
and skin conductance responses. As a result, there was less modulation of the
physiological responses, producing low correlation coefficients. Corrugator
activity is a notable exception, showing large changes in activity for pleasant
and unpleasant pictures, as well as significant covariation between ratings and
muscle activity.
On the other hand, the pictures used in this study were previously rated
as more highly arousing by participants in a separate normative study than they
were in the present study. It Is not clear why children did not rate them as
arousing In this study. One possibility is simply that these participants are
different than those participating in the normative rating study. Another
possibility is that the settings for the normative study and the present study were
different. The normative study was conducted in a classroom with groups of
children while the present study had Individual subjects rate the pictures. Facial
expressions are effective communicators of emotional state (Izard, 1991) and


42
unpleasant versus pleasant pictures was obtained for all age groups (see figure
16a). Analysis of childrens corrugator responses revealed a main effect for
valence, F(2,27)=10.91; p<.01, and a significant interaction between valence
and gender, F(2,27)=3.63; g=.04. As seen In table 6, both male and female
children exhibited the same pattern of responding, but females showed greater
modulation of the corrugator response. For adolescents, there was also
significantly more corrugator activity while viewing unpleasant versus pleasant
pictures, E(2,27)=6.92; p<.01. There was, however, no interaction between
gender and picture valence. Finally, undergraduates also demonstrated
affective modulation of their corrugator response, F(2,27)=8.23; p<.01, and as
with adolescents there was no Interaction between picture valence and gender
In their corrugator response. All age groups showed differences In corrugator
responses to pleasant versus unpleasant slides, but no differences between
neutral and unpleasant, for both genders.
Table 6. Mean change in corrugator activity (in gvolts) during slide viewing for
pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures.
Males Females
Age Group Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Children
-.16
.24
.50
-.91
1.10
1.50
Adolescents
-.26
.44
.52
-.78
.44
.32
Adults
.02
.43
.35
-.15
.28
.43
Skin Conductance
There was a significant main effect of picture valence, F(2,83)=10.26;
fi<-01, in skin conductance change. As with the covariation analysis, there was
an Increase In skin conductance associated with viewing unpleasant pictures.


CHILDREN'S COGNITIVE AND PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO
AFFECTIVE PICTURES
By
MARK H. MCMANIS
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1996


49
300
275-
250-
Pleasant Neutral Unpleasant
Figure 18. Startle magnitude adjusted for baseline orbicularis oculi activity prior
to the startle probe.


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Education
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to
the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
May, 1996
Dean, Graduate School


87
849
6.85
6.25
7.44
6.97
851
7.62
5.44
7.11
4.59


57
evidence showing that girls are better than boys at understanding the emotions
felt by others. Also, Boyatzis, Chazan, & Ting (1993) used pictures of facial
expressions and found that preschool girls were better than their male peers at
recognizing facial expressions. This pattern of females being better than males
at a variety of emotional tasks is consistent with the results from the children in
this study. Female children may be better at processing the emotional aspects
of the pictures. Gender differences often found in the development of emotion
may be due to differences in the socialization of emotion. For example, Flvush
(1991) has found that mothers discuss emotional events differently with their
preschool sons and daughters. Mothers emphasized sadness more with
daughters and anger more with their sons, indicating that boys and girls are
socialized differently to respond to emotional stimuli. In the context of this study,
many of the pictures involved people and greater empathy found In females
may improve their ability to respond emotionally to the stimuli. That is, in a six
second viewing period, girls may be better able to empathize with the people in
the pictures, increasing their emotional responses.
Adolescents' Responses to Affective Pictures
Unlike childrens ratings, affective ratings by adolescents were consistent
from the normative study to the laboratory study. Their ratings were also
consistent with their corrugator activity while viewing pictures, with lower
pleasure ratings corresponding to higher corrugator activity. Lower pleasure
ratings were also related to heart rate deceleration in females, with males
showing a nonsignificant trend In the same direction as the females. Higher
arousal ratings were significantly related to larger Increases in skin
conductance for males and marginally so for females. Thus, for adolescents,
ratings and physiological measures were generally related.


47
neutral picture viewing. Females exhibited higher levels of orbicularis oculi
activity, F(1,84)=6.55; p<.02, and children showed the highest levels of activity
(see figure 17), F(2,84)=7.07; p<.01. The interaction between gender and age
was also significant, £(2,84)=3.86; p<.03, with female children showing the
highest level of activity. There were no interactions with valence.
Given the relationship between orbicularis oculi activity and picture
valence, further analysis of the startle magnitude was conducted. Analysis of
covariance (ANCOVA) was performed using the baseline EMG activity for
pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant as separate covariates. The adjusted means
for each age group are shown in figure 18. In this analysis, there was a
significant effect of valence for the overall sample, F(1,83)=6.51; p<.02,
indicating that the relationship between startle and picture valence was
independent of the baseline differences. There was no effect for gender or age,
and no interactions.
The two other measures derived from the startle response, onset latency
and peak latency, showed no significant difference.
Table 10. Orbicularis oculi activity (A/D units) during slide viewing for pleasant,
neutral, and unpleasant pictures.
Males Females
Age Group
Pleasant
Neutral
UnDleasant
Pleasant
Neutral
UnDleasant
Children
208.6
173.8
190.1
369.4
306.2
293.3
Adolescents
266.7
222.2
252.4
251.7
200.4
225.2
Adults
Viewing time
131.3
117.8
131.9
198.0
182.2
188.6
In studies with adult populations, viewing time has corresponded with
arousal ratings, with pleasant and unpleasant pictures being looked at equally


79
353
6.60
10.87
12.07
3.33
14.07
1.60
637
7.53
13.87
10.53
3.80
15.07
3.07
623
7.60
14.73
8.27
4.13
15.20
2.60
112
7.87
15.40
9.00
4.67
15.73
3.53
128
10.20
15.80
11.27
4.73
12.60
7.53
130
11.93
14.33
10.67
5.60
15.07
3.60


61
affective responses to pictures, in order to investigate the relationship between
emotional tasks known to exhibit gender differences and emotional responses
to affective pictures.
As these issues are resolved, the methods developed in the present
study can be used to study a variety of emotional phenomena in children. For
example, the affective modulation has been shown to be sensitive to
temperamental differences (Bradley & Lang, 1992) and can differentiate clinical
populations (Patrick, Cuthbert, & Lang, 1994) in adult populations. Additionally,
the startle probe has been used to investigate the time course of affective
picture processing (Bradley, Cuthbert, & Lang, 1993) and the development of
anticipatory anxiety (Grillion, Ameli, Woods, Merikangas, & Davis, 1991). These
are all areas of research that can be extended to children. A reliable measure
of emotional state, such as those used in this study, would increase our
understanding of emotional development and the development of emotional
information processing.
To conclude, the results provide support for the use of the picture viewing
paradigm in the study of emotional development. The difficulties inherent in
finding appropriate stimuli could be greatly reduced by limiting the age range of
the participants. There was rather weak correspondence between emotional
dimensions and physiological responses. This is especially true of the arousal
dimension. It is not clear at this time if the lack of concordance between skin
conductance and arousal ratings is due to a lack of highly arousing pictures or
due to a more fundamental difference in children's and adolescents' emotional
responses. Future studies can and should address the issues raised in the
present study.