A Divergent Effect of Stimulus Perceptual Details on Affective and Semantic Representations of Valence

Larisa Olteanu, Katherein Salama, Ruth Kimchi, Assaf Kron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current work investigated the potential dissociation between two modes of valence: affective valence (valence of the emotional response) and semantic valence (stored knowledge about the valence of an object/event). A series of six experiments systematically examined the divergent effect of manipulating the amount of perceptual details on affective valence and semantic knowledge about valence. We predicted that affective valence, more than semantic valence, will be affected by manipulating the amount of stimulus perceptual details. Experiment 1a manipulated the amount of perceptual details by presenting the same stimulus content with different quantity of perceptual details. We compared three conditions: a very short movie clip, a still picture that was taken from the movie clip, and a blurred version of the picture from the movie clip. Experiment 1b replicated Experiment 1a using a stronger filter for blurring the picture. Experiment 2 used different manipulation of filtering out visual perceptual details by comparing still pictures to outlined images. Experiment 3 generalized the results of Experiments 1 and 2 by comparing pictures and written words. Experiments 4a and 4b examined the hypothesis regarding the divergent effect of the amount of perceptual details on semantic and affective valence, using physiological signals and a reaction time task, measures that do not rely on self-reports. Results suggest that affective valence is more sensitive to the change in the amount of perceptual details of the stimulus than semantic valence. The psychological mechanism that might underlie this effect and the theoretical implications of the findings are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1236-1253
Number of pages18
Issue number5
Early online date8 Sep 2022
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Affective response
  • Emotion
  • Emotions/physiology
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Perception
  • Reaction Time/physiology
  • Self Report
  • Semantic knowledge
  • Semantics
  • Valence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'A Divergent Effect of Stimulus Perceptual Details on Affective and Semantic Representations of Valence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this