Published:  2014-04-01

Redundancy analysis of autonomic and self-reported, responses to induced emotions

Authors:  Bruce H. Friedman, Chad L. Stephens, Julian F. Thayer

Tags:  Autonomic nervous system, Emotion concordance, Emotion synchrony, Multivariate analysis, Redundancy analysis

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The issue of concordance among the elements of emotional states has been prominent in the literature since Lang (1968) explored the topic in relation to therapy for anxiety. Since that time, a consensus has emerged that concordance among these components is relatively low. To address this issue, redundancy analysis, a technique for examining directional relationships between two sets of multivariate data, was applied to data from a previously published study (Stephens, Christie, & Friedman, 2010). Subjects in this study listened to emotion-inducing music and viewed affective films while a montage of autonomic variables, as well as self-reported affective responses, were recorded. Results indicated that approximately 27–28% of the variance in self-reported affect could be explained by autonomic variables, and vice-versa. When all of the constraints of this emotion research paradigm are considered, these levels of explained variance indicate substantial coherence between feelings and physiology during the emotion inductions. These results are considered vis-à-vis the low levels of coherence that have often been reported in the literature.