Bumpy ride ahead: Anticipated effort as emotional evidence?

Elad Oz-Cohen, Rotem Berkovich, Nachshon Meiran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conscious reportable (un)pleasantness feelings were shown to be successfully described by a process in which evidence favoring pleasant and unpleasant feelings accumulates until one response wins the race. This approach is challenged by (a) insufficient specification of “evidence,” and (b) incomplete verification that participants report their truly experienced (un)pleasant feelings and not what they expect to feel. In each trial in this preregistered experiment, the (un)pleasant feeling reports regarding emotion evoking pictures was embedded in a period when participants expected a low-effort task (feature visual search) or a high-effort task (feature-conjunction search). Fitting the Linear Ballistic Accumulator model to the feeling report data shows that anticipated effort was associated with a higher rate of unpleasant evidence accumulation, but only when the emotion evoking pictures were normatively unpleasant and not when they were normatively pleasant. These results suggest that anticipated effort may be one source of “evidence,” but only given a certain interpretation of the findings, and that genuinely felt emotions contribute to the emotion reports, assuming that participants intended to react to the pictures, as instructed, and not to the anticipated effort.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
StatePublished - 14 May 2024


  • Anticipated effort
  • Feeling as evidence accumulation
  • Reaction time

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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