Ibolya KOTTA*, Stefan SZAMOSKÖZI
Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
In a paradigm of a three-dimensioned (valence, arousal, dominance) affective space, the aim of the present study was to extend the use of picture rating methodology to primary school children and to outline the specifics of affective reactions in anxious children. Self-report measures of emotional reactions evoked by emotion-eliciting IAPS (International Affective Pictures System, Lang, Bradley & Cuthbert, 2005) stimuli were administered to anxious (N = 90) and non-anxious (N = 97) children, aged 7-10 years. Results confirmed that IAPS pictures of varying valence and arousal elicit the same patterns of subjective responses as in normal adults. It was hypothesized that anxiety would be associated with ratings of more negative valence, higher arousal and lower dominance of the emotioneliciting pictorial stimuli. The results supported our hypothesis only partially. Only positive IAPS pictures could differentiate between children with and without symptoms of anxiety. The intensity of reactions did not differentiate between anxious and non-anxious children, but anxious children under evaluated to valence of positive stimuli as well as their own resources to face these positively valenced stimuli.
Keywords: affective space, emotion-eliciting stimuli, IAPS, biphasic motivation, anxiety disorders