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Visual Representation and the Prediction of Emotion

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Abstract:

Through content analysis of news photographs and measurement of viewer’s response to those images, this study explored what visual characteristics contribute to emotional responses in viewers.

We conducted a content analysis of a sample of images and measured the presence of variables hypothesized to predict emotional response. Subjects viewed sub-sets of these images and provided self-reports of their level and type of affect. The independent variables were derived from the content analysis measures. Dependent variables were viewers’ level of either positive or negative affect. Significant predictors of negative affect included the presence of violence, the outcomes of violence, the effects of disaster, negative emotional displays by image subjects, and unusual juxtapositions of people and/or objects. The presence of violence, unusual object juxtapositions, and negative emotional displays had significant, but negative, relationships with positive affect. Positive emotional displays, viewing the more central subjects from the front, and image subjects appearing close together significantly and directly predicted positive affect.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

imag (114), emot (72), negat (59), variabl (56), subject (49), measur (41), affect (39), visual (38), use (37), one (37), news (36), viewer (31), regress (29), posit (29), content (28), signific (27), peopl (27), photograph (27), studi (25), respons (24), level (22),

Author's Keywords:

visual communication, emotion, photojournalism
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Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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MLA Citation:

Sherr, Susan. "Visual Representation and the Prediction of Emotion" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112258_index.html>

APA Citation:

Sherr, S. A. , 2003-05-27 "Visual Representation and the Prediction of Emotion" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112258_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Through content analysis of news photographs and measurement of viewer’s response to those images, this study explored what visual characteristics contribute to emotional responses in viewers.

We conducted a content analysis of a sample of images and measured the presence of variables hypothesized to predict emotional response. Subjects viewed sub-sets of these images and provided self-reports of their level and type of affect. The independent variables were derived from the content analysis measures. Dependent variables were viewers’ level of either positive or negative affect. Significant predictors of negative affect included the presence of violence, the outcomes of violence, the effects of disaster, negative emotional displays by image subjects, and unusual juxtapositions of people and/or objects. The presence of violence, unusual object juxtapositions, and negative emotional displays had significant, but negative, relationships with positive affect. Positive emotional displays, viewing the more central subjects from the front, and image subjects appearing close together significantly and directly predicted positive affect.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 29
Word count: 6677
Text sample:
Visual Representation and the Prediction of Emotion For decades public opinion scholars have invoked Walter Lippman’s (1922) concept of the “pictures in our heads” (1). They refer to Lippman’s assertion that since no one can experience first-hand all events occurring in the world the only reality we know is the images we form in our own minds of what might be happening “out there.” Lippman argued that those images are guided by what the media tell us. Since the
South African Culture and the World Beyond. New York: Routledge. Oliver Mary Beth. (1994). Portrayals of Crime Race and Aggression in “Reality-Based” Police Shows: A Content Analysis Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. Stata Manual Release 6. (1999). College Station TX: Stata Press. Zillman Dolf; Gibson Rhonda; and Sargent Stephanie L. (1999). Effects of Photographs in News-Magazine Reports on Issue Perception. Media Psychology. 1:207-228. Zillman Dolf and Brosius Hans-Bernd. (2000). Exemplification in Communication: The Influence of Case Reports on


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