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Poster B13

Well, this is awkward! The effects of non-normative behavior during emotional clip viewing

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Zoe Niesen1 (, Hannah Kershner1, Giulia Solomon1, Mia Sanchez1, Carole Scherling1; 1Belmont University

Emotions are widely known to be universal and self-manifested, but rely on external cues to increase or decrease experiences. Previous work demonstrates the innateness of external influences, even showing microexpressions when watching others emote (Hirsh, 2018). However, what happens to emotional reactivity when emotional displays do not align with expectations? The current study investigated the impacts of non-normative emotional displays on emotional experiences. All participants viewed 2 videos, a first clip with normative confederate behavior (ex: laugh/smile during positive video) and a second clip with non-normative behavior (ex: laugh/smile during negative video). Participants were randomly assigned a viewing order based on valence (positive-negative or negative-positive). Behavior was measured around each video’s emotional moment, with pre and post measures of self-reports (valence), pulse and GSR. A 2x2x2 mixed model ANOVA first revealed successful valence manipulations at baseline (normative), with higher self-reports for positive videos (p=0.01). For the non-normative sessions, increased GSR was shown (9.669 vs. 8.869; p=0.035) and self-reports of valence converged towards the mean (p=0.063). These findings indicate increased arousal with unexpected confederate behavior, in association with decreased experience of video valence. Further, non-normative behavior during positive video sessions (vs. normative negative) yielded notable increases in GSR levels (p=0.009), which was not revealed when comparing positive normative to negative non-normative sessions. Overall, non-normative behaviors during viewing sessions influenced both self-reports and physiological reactivity, with a potentially stronger influence when non-normative behaviors present during positive experiences.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding


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