Differential subjective and psychophysiological responses to socially and nonsocially generated emotional stimuli

Jennifer C Britton, Stephan F. Taylor, Kent C. Berridge, Joseph A. Mikels, I. Liberzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Sociality may determine the subjective experience and physiological response to emotional stimuli. Film segments induced socially and nonsocially generated emotions. Comedy (social positive), bereavement (social negative), pizza scenes (nonsocial positive), and wounded bodies (nonsocial negative) elicited four distinct emotional patterns. Per subjective report, joy, sadness, appetite, and disgust were elicited by the targeted stimulus condition. The social/nonsocial dimension influenced which emotional valence(s) elicited a skin conductance response, a finding that could not be explained by differences in subjective arousal. Heart rate deceleration was more responsive to nonsocially generated emotions. Taken together, these findings suggest that sociality affects the physiological profile of responses to emotional valence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Behavioral
  • Emotion
  • Film
  • Heart rate
  • Skin conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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