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Affective responses to body stimuli: comparing male and female bodies with cropped heads and masked faces

Groves, Katie and Kennett, Steffan and Gillmeister, Helge (2018) 'Affective responses to body stimuli: comparing male and female bodies with cropped heads and masked faces.' Journal of Cognitive Psychology. ISSN 2044-5911

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Abstract

Three studies were conducted in order to determine whether headless bodies evoke affective responses that might confound neuroimaging and electrophysiological findings. In Experiment 1, 224 participants used an online questionnaire to rate pictures, including bodies with cropped heads and masked faces, for disgust, fear, naturalness, valence and arousal. In Experiment 2, 38 participants completed a free word association task whilst viewing images that included bodies with cropped heads and masked faces. In Experiment 3, 57 participants completed a similar rating task to that disseminated in Experiment 1, whilst galvanic skin responses were measured. Results from all studies found no differences in the affective response elicited by bodies without heads versus bodies with masked faces. Female bodies were thought of more positively than male bodies, however. These findings suggest that headless body stimuli are not abhorrent in any way and are thus the preferable stimuli for investigating body-selective perceptual processes as they do not evoke face-processing mechanisms. Our findings also suggest that differences between male and female body viewing should be considered when investigating visual body perception.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: body perception, body representation, headless bodies, masked faces, affective responses
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 13:40
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2019 01:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22905

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