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Visual Representation and the Prediction of Emotion
Unformatted Document Text:  8 determine which characteristic of the image content predicted viewers’ emotional responses. The subjects included 59 volunteers from among the undergraduate population at a northeastern Ivy League university. Only undergraduates who were not Communication majors and who had lived in the United States for more than five years were allowed to participate in the study. These criteria were determined in order to eliminate from the pool of respondents those with a great deal of experience analyzing visual communication and those having little experience with American culture. Of the total number of students, 43 were female and 16 were male. The racial composition of the volunteers was 42% percent white, 30% Asian, 12% black, 5% Latino, 8% Indian, and 2% mixed race. Forty-four percent of participants considered themselves to be Democrats, 15% Republican, and 29% Independents. Twelve percent reported being affiliated with another party. Political affiliation was important because some of the pictures had political content. Participants were paid $12.00. We randomly selected ten different groups of images instead of using a single set of images so that subjects could be randomly assigned to image group as well as to maximize the number of different images that were included in the study. The assumption was that increasing the number of different images used would reduce the possibility that unique characteristics of a particular image or group of images would bias the study. At least one photograph representing each of the variables of interest was included in the samples. The study used only ten

Authors: Sherr, Susan.
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determine which characteristic of the image content predicted viewers’ emotional
responses.
The subjects included 59 volunteers from among the undergraduate
population at a northeastern Ivy League university. Only undergraduates who
were not Communication majors and who had lived in the United States for more
than five years were allowed to participate in the study. These criteria were
determined in order to eliminate from the pool of respondents those with a great
deal of experience analyzing visual communication and those having little
experience with American culture. Of the total number of students, 43 were
female and 16 were male. The racial composition of the volunteers was 42%
percent white, 30% Asian, 12% black, 5% Latino, 8% Indian, and 2% mixed race.
Forty-four percent of participants considered themselves to be Democrats, 15%
Republican, and 29% Independents. Twelve percent reported being affiliated
with another party. Political affiliation was important because some of the
pictures had political content. Participants were paid $12.00.
We randomly selected ten different groups of images instead of using a
single set of images so that subjects could be randomly assigned to image group
as well as to maximize the number of different images that were included in the
study. The assumption was that increasing the number of different images used
would reduce the possibility that unique characteristics of a particular image or
group of images would bias the study. At least one photograph representing each
of the variables of interest was included in the samples. The study used only ten


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