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Developing Affective Mental Imagery Stimuli with Multidimensional Scaling

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Doi: 10.20982/tqmp.11.2.p113

Facciani, Matthew J.
Keywords: multidimensional scaling , stimuli development , mental imagery , affect
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The goal of this paper is to provide an example of how multidimensional scaling (MDS) can be used for stimuli development. The study described in this paper illustrates this process by developing affective mental imagery stimuli using the circumplex model of affect as a guide. The circumplex model of affect argues that all emotions can be described in terms of two underlying primary dimensions: valence and arousal (Russel, 1980). We used MDS to determine if affective mental imagery stimuli obtained from verbal prompts could be separated by arousal and valence to create four distinct categories (high –positive, low-positive, high-negative, and low-negative) as seen in other stimuli. 60 students from the University of South Carolina participated in the first experiment to evaluate three sets of stimuli. After being analyzed using MDS, selected stimuli were then assessed again in a second experiment to validate their robust valence and arousal distinctions. The second experiment was conducted with 34 subjects to validate 40 of the best stimuli from experiment 1. It was found that mental imagery stimuli can produce a reliable affective response for the dimensions of valence and arousal and that MDS can be an effective tool for stimuli development.

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