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Visual Representation and the Prediction of Emotion
Unformatted Document Text:  7 violent and pornographic. Ratings of arousal and valence were aggregated for the subjects creating a standardized set of images with known effects. This work does not obviate the need for this study, however, because the LAPS research does not delineate what combination of content variables combine to create greater or lesser emotional responses. As Zillman, Gibson, and Sargent indicate (1999), the pictures’ emotion-eliciting potential was only determined retrospectively. In addition, many of the photographs in this set are so extreme that they would never be shown in a mainstream news outlet. Therefore, a thorough analysis of the content of news photographs and their effects is still required. Method This study explores what characteristics of news photographs result in the most significant self-reported emotional response among viewers. We conducted this analysis using a three-step procedure. First, two trained coders completed a content analysis of a random sample of news images. The sample was drawn from all available images from 1998 categorized as “news” in the Associated Press (AP) Photo Archive. We selected the AP Photo Archive as a data source because AP photographs are used by many publications across the country. This makes this database relatively representative of the photographs people actually see in newspapers and magazines. The second part of the study involved subjects viewing images on a computer screen and responding to a series of questions regarding their self- reported emotional state. Finally, we conducted a regression analysis to

Authors: Sherr, Susan.
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7
violent and pornographic. Ratings of arousal and valence were aggregated for the
subjects creating a standardized set of images with known effects. This work
does not obviate the need for this study, however, because the LAPS research
does not delineate what combination of content variables combine to create
greater or lesser emotional responses. As Zillman, Gibson, and Sargent indicate
(1999), the pictures’ emotion-eliciting potential was only determined
retrospectively. In addition, many of the photographs in this set are so extreme
that they would never be shown in a mainstream news outlet. Therefore, a
thorough analysis of the content of news photographs and their effects is still
required.
Method
This study explores what characteristics of news photographs result in the
most significant self-reported emotional response among viewers. We conducted
this analysis using a three-step procedure. First, two trained coders completed a
content analysis of a random sample of news images. The sample was drawn
from all available images from 1998 categorized as “news” in the Associated
Press (AP) Photo Archive. We selected the AP Photo Archive as a data source
because AP photographs are used by many publications across the country. This
makes this database relatively representative of the photographs people actually
see in newspapers and magazines.
The second part of the study involved subjects viewing images on a
computer screen and responding to a series of questions regarding their self-
reported emotional state. Finally, we conducted a regression analysis to


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