It matters how you ask : Emotional ratings of help-related picture content


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BRIELMANN, Aenne A., 2014. It matters how you ask : Emotional ratings of help-related picture content [Master thesis]. Konstanz: Univ.

@mastersthesis{Brielmann2014matte-30443, title={It matters how you ask : Emotional ratings of help-related picture content}, year={2014}, address={Konstanz}, school={Univ.}, author={Brielmann, Aenne A.} }

Eine Frage der Fragestellung : Emotionale Bewertungen hilferelevanter Bildinhalte It matters how you ask : Emotional ratings of help-related picture content Brielmann, Aenne A. 2015-03-20T07:17:45Z eng 2014 Brielmann, Aenne A. 2015-03-20T07:17:45Z Emotions play a vital role in human social behavior. One important aspect of emotional experiences in social contexts is that people are able to experience and report similar emotions as a person they observe. This capability is thought to be one major motivation for prosocial behavior. In this thesis I explore the influence of help-related picture content on self-reported emotions. Within this framework the impact of different types of rating scales and of rating material's characteristics on self-reported emotional experiences is assessed.<br />Participants (N = 278) were shown two different subsets of black-and-white drawings varying systematically regarding help-related content. In the first subset, half of the drawings depicted a child or a bird needing help to reach a trivial goal, the other half showed the agent reaching the goal. The second subset showed adults either actively helping a child or passively present next to it. Control pictures of the adult and the child alone were also included. Participants reported their subjective emotional experiences while viewing the stimuli using two types of 9-point scales. For one half of the pictures scales of arousal (calm to excited) and of bipolar valence (sad to happy) were employed, for the other half scales of unipolar pleasantness and unpleasantness (strong to absent) were used. This design allowed comparison of emotional ratings on two types of scales within one population. The order of rating scale types as well as of each scale types' rating dimensions was counter-balanced across participants. Moreover, the study was conducted in English (N = 125) and German (N = 117).<br />Variance in mean bipolar valence ratings could be inferred from the difference between pleasantness and unpleasantness ratings. The overall intensity of reported pleasant and unpleasant feelings accounted well for variance in arousal ratings. Participants reported to have pleasant and unpleasant feelings at the same time. Pictures showing everyday need of help situations were rated lower in valence, higher in arousal, less pleasant and more unpleasant than corresponding pictures in which the agent did not need help. Pictures of adults helping a child were rated similar to control pictures showing a passive adult on all dimensions. Consideration of one scale order or language, however, would not have changed the principal interpretation of help-relevant picture content's effects.<br /><br />In sum, results suggest that arousal and bipolar valence ratings are closely related to unipolar pleasantness and unpleasantness ratings. Moreover, valence should not solely be regarded as a bipolar construct, as participants reported to have pleasant and unpleasant feelings at the same time. Hence, these so called mixed feelings should be assessed, too. The large effects of need of help content in everyday situations on self-reported emotional experiences highlight the strength and reflexiveness with which emotions congruent to observed others are experienced. Rating material's language and order of scales may have an impact on participants rating behavior but is unlikely to distort major effects of manipulated content.

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