Can Feelings "Feel" Wrong? Similarities Between Counter-Normative Emotion Reports and Perceptual Errors

Ella Givon, Gal Udelsman-Danieli, Ophir Almagor, Tomer Fekete, Oren Shriki, Nachshon Meiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In popular belief, emotions are regarded as deeply subjective and thus as lacking truth value. Is this reflected at the behavioral or brain level? This work compared counter-normative emotion reports with perceptual-decision errors. Participants (university students; N = 29, 16, 40, and 60 in Experiments 1–4, respectively) were given trials comprising two tasks and were asked to (a) report their pleasant or unpleasant feelings in response to emotion-invoking pictures (emotion report) and (b) indicate the gender of faces (perceptual decision). Focusing on classical error markers, we found that the results of both tasks indicated (a) post-error slowing, (b) speed/accuracy trade-offs, (c) a heavier right tail of the reaction time distribution for errors or counter-normative responses relative to correct or normative responses, and (d) inconclusive evidence for error-related negativity in electroencephalograms. These results suggest that at both the behavioral and the brain levels, the experience of reporting counter-normative emotions is remarkably similar to that accompanying perceptual-decision errors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Science
Early online date3 May 2022
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2022

Keywords

  • emotional feelings
  • error-related negativity
  • open materials
  • post-error slowing
  • preregistered
  • reaction time distribution
  • speed/accuracy trade-off

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