Selecting pure-emotion materials from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) by Chinese university students: A study based on intensity-ratings only

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Abstract

There is a need to use selected pictures with pure emotion as stimulation or treatment media for basic and clinical research. Pictures from the widely-used International Affective Picture System (IAPS) contain rich emotions, but no study has clearly stated that an emotion is exclusively expressed in its putative IAPS picture to date. We hypothesize that the IAPS images contain at least pure vectors of disgust, erotism (or erotica), fear, happiness, sadness and neutral emotions. Accordingly, we have selected 108 IAPS images, each with a specific emotion, and invited 219 male and 274 female university students to rate only the intensity of the emotion conveyed in each picture. Their answers were analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Four first-order factors manifested as disgust-fear, happiness-sadness, erotism, and neutral. Later, ten second-order sub-factors manifested as mutilation-disgust, vomit-disgust, food-disgust, violence-fear, happiness, sadness, couple- erotism, female-erotism, male- erotism, and neutral. Fifty-nine pictures for the ten sub-factors, which had established good model-fit indices, satisfactory sub-factor internal reliabilities, and prominent gender-differences in the picture intensity ratings were ultimately retained. We thus have selected a series of pure-emotion IAPS pictures, which together displayed both satisfactorily convergent and discriminant structure-validities. We did not intend to evaluate all IAPS items, but instead selected some pictures conveying pure emotions, which might help both basic and clinical researches in the future.

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Xu, Z., Zhu, R., Shen, C., Zhang, B., Gao, Q., Xu, Y., & Wang, W. (2017). Selecting pure-emotion materials from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) by Chinese university students: A study based on intensity-ratings only. Heliyon, 3(8). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00389

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