Differential effects of facial configuration on bilateral skin conductance as a function of hostility
Herridge, Matthew L.
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The experiment was designed to investigate group differences by examining the effects of hostility on bilateral measures of skin conductance while making affective facial configurations. Males reporting high and low hostility were instructed in making facial configurations that were identified by raters as happy, angry, or neutral in affective valence. All subjects were asked to make the set of facial configurations twice with unstructured baselines taken prior to each face. The initial hypotheses included: (1) there would be higher skin conductance levels for the facial configuration trials than the baseline trials; (2) there would be more reactivity for the angry facial configuration followed by the happy facial configuration and then by the neutral facial configuration; (3) the left extremity would show higher conductance levels than the right; (4) the high hostile group would show higher conductance levels across the emotional faces as compared to the neutral facial configuration than the low hostile group; (5) the high hostile group would show higher conductance levels across both extremities than the low hostile group; and (6) a three-way interaction of group, extremity, and affective facial configuration would be noted. The experimental hypotheses were partially supported. As expected, the facial configuration produced significant increases in skin conductance from baseline across all three facial configurations. Differential effects of facial configuration were found. Skin conductance varied among the groups as a function of the three facial configurations. A three-way Group x Extremity x Block interaction was found. An interaction between group, extremity, and affective facial configuration was not found. Neuropsychological models of emotion are discussed as well as the possibility of altered right cerebral systems in high hostile individuals.
- Masters Theses