The autonomic differentiation of emotions revisited: convergent and discriminant validation.


The convergent and discriminant validity of three models of physiological emotion specificity were compared. Forty-two female students served as subjects in a 2 (Context of emotional inductions: real-life, imagery) X 3 (Emotion: fear, anger, control) +1 (Happiness induced in real-life context) repeated measures design. The dependent measures included self-reports of emotion, Gottschalk-Gleser affect scores, back and forearm extensor EMG activity, body movements, heart period, respiration period, skin conductance, skin temperatures, pulse transit time, pulse volume amplitude, and blood volumes. Self-report data confirmed the generation of affective states in both contexts, as intended. Planned multivariate comparisons between physiological profiles established discriminant validity for fear and anger in the real-life context, whereas under imagery, emotion profiles were essentially equal. Convergent validity could not be substantiated. Implications for models of physiological specificity of emotion were discussed.


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@article{Stemmler1989TheAD, title={The autonomic differentiation of emotions revisited: convergent and discriminant validation.}, author={Gerhard Stemmler}, journal={Psychophysiology}, year={1989}, volume={26 6}, pages={617-32} }