I Read, I Imagine, I Feel: Feasibility, Imaginability and Intensity of Emotional Experience as Fundamental Dimensions for Norming Scripts

Dalit Milshtein, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emotional imagery procedures can be used as beneficial means for study of a variety of issues (e.g., emotion, episodic memory, imagination, consciousness, attitudes, social domain, and so on) from an ecological perspective. Emotional imagery is also a worthy subject of research by itself. There are several procedures to encourage participants to generate, manipulate and maintain emotional imagery during lab experiments. Script-driven imagery is the most developed and widespread procedure. However, there are no uniform norms for creating and validating emotional scripts and neutral ones as well. In addition, there is no unanimity about the important dimensions of the scripts and how they can affect the experimental procedures. In the current paper, we present a 3-step process for creating and validating emotional and neutral 9-word scripts that can be used in a wide range of procedures. We discuss the various relevant scripts’ dimensions and present findings that suggest considering the feasibility dimension as a basis for distinguishing between positive and negative events. While for positive events, as expected, participants rated realistic themes as highly feasible, and fantastic themes as low in feasibility, for negative events such a distinction almost vanished. In other words, we do not just tend to expect good things in the future (optimism bias), but also reject odds of negative events even though we are aware of their high prevalence ("it won't happen to me").

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-459
Number of pages28
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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