Cognitive appraisal contributes to feeling generation through emotional evidence accumulation rate: Evidence from instructed fictional reappraisal

Ella Singer-Landau, Nachshon Meiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

How do (reportable) emotional feelings come to be? Following William James and many others, Givon et al. (2020) described the generation of feelings as evidence accumulation toward a boundary. In this work, we began clarifying the nature of "evidence". In two preregistered experiments, participants were presented with normed emotion-evoking negative/positive pictures that were described as reflecting either authentic or fictitious happenings ("fictional reappraisal"). In negative pictures (but contrary to our predictions, not in positive pictures), fictional reappraisal slowed feeling reports and reduced the rate of unpleasant feeling reports. An evidence accumulation model, the Hierarchical Linear Ballistic Accumulator model, was fit to the results from negative stimuli. This analysis indicated that fictional reappraisal selectively slowed the rate of evidence accumulation favoring (the normatively "correct") unpleasant feeling reports and speeded evidence accumulation favoring (the normatively "wrong") pleasant feeling reports. Fictional reappraisal did not change the response criterion, specifying the required amount of evidence for report. These results suggest that cognitive appraisals contribute to (and are a part of) emotional evidence, as operationalized in evidence accumulation models, and provide additional support for the usefulness of these models for the study of feeling reports. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1378
Number of pages13
JournalEmotion
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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