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Four Perspectives on the Role of Fear in Persuasion
Unformatted Document Text:  Four Perspectives on . . . 6 and/or nonreward. Accordingly, we anticipated that greater sensitivity to such cues would manifest itself in greater increases in fear and higher peak intensity of fear. Further, on the premise that an active (vs. relatively inactive) BIS is characterized by greater reactivity, we might expect that the system would less readily return to baseline. By this logic, BIS should exhibit an inverse relationship with emotional decay. Hence, we predicted that: H2: BIS is (a) positively associated with acceleration and velocity indices of fear and (b) negatively correlated with deceleration measures. The BAS is held to be the source of positive, but not negative, affect (Davidson, 1993; Depue & Collins, 1999; Gray, 1990). If that claim is accurate, then the BAS should show no appreciable correspondence with a negative emotion such as fear, either before or after exposure to a fear appeal. On these grounds, we hypothesized that: H3: BAS is unrelated to pre-message fear, fear acceleration, velocity, or deceleration. The Velocity Perspective Appraisal theories of emotion focus on the cognitive antecedents of emotional experience (e.g., Frijda,1986; Lazarus, 1991; Oatley, 1992; Roseman, Weist, & Swartz, 1994; Scherer, 1984). At the broadest level, they assert that negative emotions arise from the perception that the environment is in an incongruent relationship with the individual’s goals and that positive emotions follow from judgments of incompatibility between goals and environment. With regard to fear more specifically, this family of theories contends that fear will be aroused to the extent that individuals conceive of the stimulus as (a) important, (b) negatively valenced, (c) impending, (d) one that will require considerable effort to deal with (i.e., presents an obstacle), and (e) is beyond the control of the actor.

Authors: Dillard, James. and Anderson, Jason.
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Four Perspectives on . . .
6
and/or nonreward. Accordingly, we anticipated that greater sensitivity to such cues would
manifest itself in greater increases in fear and higher peak intensity of fear. Further, on the
premise that an active (vs. relatively inactive) BIS is characterized by greater reactivity, we
might expect that the system would less readily return to baseline. By this logic, BIS should
exhibit an inverse relationship with emotional decay. Hence, we predicted that:
H2: BIS is (a) positively associated with acceleration and velocity indices of fear and (b)
negatively correlated with deceleration measures.
The BAS is held to be the source of positive, but not negative, affect (Davidson, 1993;
Depue & Collins, 1999; Gray, 1990). If that claim is accurate, then the BAS should show no
appreciable correspondence with a negative emotion such as fear, either before or after exposure
to a fear appeal. On these grounds, we hypothesized that:
H3: BAS is unrelated to pre-message fear, fear acceleration, velocity, or deceleration.
The Velocity Perspective
Appraisal theories of emotion focus on the cognitive antecedents of emotional experience
(e.g., Frijda,1986; Lazarus, 1991; Oatley, 1992; Roseman, Weist, & Swartz, 1994; Scherer,
1984). At the broadest level, they assert that negative emotions arise from the perception that the
environment is in an incongruent relationship with the individual’s goals and that positive
emotions follow from judgments of incompatibility between goals and environment. With regard
to fear more specifically, this family of theories contends that fear will be aroused to the extent
that individuals conceive of the stimulus as (a) important, (b) negatively valenced, (c)
impending, (d) one that will require considerable effort to deal with (i.e., presents an obstacle),
and (e) is beyond the control of the actor.


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