Study title
Experimental test of appraisal predictions for emotional response patterning
Ref study 4201
Study language French
Contributing institutions
  • Emotion
  • Subjective experience
  • Physiological response patterning
  • Vocal expression
  • Emotion-antecedent appraisal
  • Computer game
Geographical space
Recent theoretical convergence in the area if emotion psychology suggests a need for studies adopting a dynamic, process-oriented multi-component study of emotional response patterning as predicted by cognitive theories of emotion (appraisal as antecedent of emotion elicitation and differentiation). The Geneva Emotion Research Group has made a number of contributions to this area, in particular with respect to concrete predictions on emotional response patterning following antecedent event appraisal as well as to measuring subjective experience, vocal and facial expression, and psychophysiological reactions. A series of experiments are proposed to empirically examine the theoretical predictions made in Scherer's component process model of emotion (1984, 1986) using emotion-induction via an interactive computer game. Within the context of the game, events likely to produce particular appraisal results will be systematically manipulated. The responses to these manipulations in facial and vocal expression as well as psychophysiological responding will be recorded. The subjective experience component will be obtained via computer-prompted verbal report immediately after the emotion-eliciting manipulation. In addition to the experimental investigation of the theoretical predictions, the results are to provide the basis for future AI simulations of emotion processes. Scherer, K. R. (1986). Vocal affect expression: A review and a model for future research. Psychological Bulletin, 99(2), 143-165. Scherer, K.R. (1984). Emotion as a multicomponent process: A model and some cross-cultural data. In P. Shaver (Ed.), Review of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol.5. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, pp. 37-63.
Methods (description)
- A computer game has been selected in order to induce emotions in the laboratory. In the experimental sessions, participants play a computer game for about 45 min., in which in accordance with the theory, different appraisal criteria have been manipulated. Real-time measures of psycho-physiological activity (ANS and SNS) are taken throughout the duration of the game. Vocal utterances are recorded and subjective feeling states are reported during certain moment in the game.
- Students of the University of Geneva and adolescents paid volunteers, out of the above-mentioned population 33 adolescents +44 native French speaking students of the University of Geneva aged between 18-30 years +.
- Experimental study.
- Data obtained by our research group.

Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
  • Scherer, K.R.. 1984. On the nature and function of emotion: A component process approach. In: K.R. Scherer & P. Ekman (Eds.), Approaches to emotion, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J., 1984, p. 293-318.
  • Scherer, K.R.. 1986. Vocal affect expression: A review and a model for future research. In: Psychological Bulletin, no. 99, 1986, p. 143-165.
  • Johnstone, Tom; Banse, Rainer; Scherer, Klaus R.. 1995. Acoustic profiles from prototypical vocal expressions of emotion. In: Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 4, 1995, p. 2-5.
  • Johnstone, Tom. 1996. Emotional speech elicited using computer games. In: Bunnell, H.T.; Idsardi, W. (Eds.): Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, Philadelphia, PA, USA, pp. 1985-1988. - Citation Delaware, New Castle.
  • Scherer, Klaus R.. 1995. How emotion is expressed in speech and singing. In: Proceedings of the XIIIth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, 3, 1995, p. 90-96.
  • Scherer, Klaus R.. 1996. Emotion. In: Hewstone, M.; Stroebe, W.; Stephenson, G.M. (Eds.): Introduction to Social Psychology, Blackwell, Oxford, 1996, pp. 279-315.
  • Scherer, Klaus R.. Appraisal theories. In: Dalgleish, T.; Power, M. (Eds.): Handbook of Cognition and Emotion. - Wiley, Chichester.
  • Van Reekum, Carien M.; Scherer, Klaus R.. Levels of processing for emotion-antecedent appraisal. In: Matthews, G. (Ed.): Cognitive Science Perspectives on Personality and Emotion. - Elsevier Science, Amsterdam.
Unpublished documents
  • Banse, Rainer; et al., . 1996. Psychophysiological responses to emotion-antecedent appraisal of critical events in a computer game. Paper presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Vancouver, Canada, 16-20 October 1996.
  • Van Reekum, Carien; Johnstone, Tom; Scherer, Klaus R.. 1997. Multimodal measurement of emotion induced by the manipulation of appraisals in a computer game. Paper presented at the 3rd European Congress of Psychophysiology, Konstanz, Germany, 28-31 May 1997.
Financed by
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates)
Date created 22.01.1996
Date modified 22.12.1997
Start - End date 01.01.1994 - 28.01.1997