Emotions in motion: affective valence can influence compatibility effects with graspable objects

Elisa Scerrati, Sandro Rubichi, Roberto Nicoletti, Cristina Iani

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Previous studies showed that affective valence (positive, negative) influences Stimulus–Response Compatibility (SRC) effects elicited by both relevant and irrelevant spatial dimensions. We tested whether valence influences SRC effects when the irrelevant spatial dimension rather than being conveyed by the entire stimulus location is conveyed by the location of the stimulus’ graspable part, i.e., the Handle–Response (H–R) compatibility effect. Participants saw objects with either a flower, a spider or nothing on their handle and categorized them as kitchen utensils or garage tools through button presses. In Experiment 1, a random presentation of valenced stimuli was used, whereas in Experiment 2 differently valenced stimuli were arranged in different blocks. Furthermore, participants in Experiment 2 could be spider-fearful or not. In Experiment 1, an H–R compatibility effect occurred for response latencies, regardless of whether stimuli presented a negative, positive or no element on their handle. In Experiment 2 the effect occurred only when a positive element was shown on the object's handle. In addition, spider-fearful individuals showed significantly slower responses when the element appearing on the object's handle had a negative valence. These results suggest that the SRC effect observed with pictures of graspable objects may be sensitive to the affective characteristics of stimuli and that approach/avoidance response tendencies may also depend on individual differences (being spider-fearful or not).
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)725-736
Numero di pagine12
RivistaPsychological Research
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2023


  • Handle–Response (H–R) compatibility
  • Stimulus–Response Compatibility (SRC)
  • affective valence
  • approach-avoidance
  • indiviadual differences
  • spider-fearful


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