Anger Elicitation Using Affective Pictures: An Individual Differences Approach

Ryan Thibodeau, Randall S. Jorgensen, Sarah J. Jonovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In emotion research, affective pictures are limited in their ability to elicit discrete emotions. The current study attempted to elicit anger using pictures and a person by image-content interactional strategy. In two studies, undergraduates who varied with respect to concern for animal welfare (person factor) were shown pictures that included several of actual or impending animal harm (image content). Results from Study 1 showed that (1) the link between animal concern and combined emotion outcomes was strongest for animal harm pictures compared to other picture categories and (2) individual differences in animal concern were more strongly linked to anger than other negative emotions (e.g., anxiety, disgust, sadness) while viewing pictures of animal harm. Results from Study 2 showed that animal concern predicted variance in self-reported anger above and beyond that explained by broader constructs (empathy and nurturance) to which it relates. Overall, data suggest that the person by image-content interactional strategy is a promising new tool for researchers seeking to elicit discrete emotions in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-89
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • anger
  • emotions
  • individual differences
  • methodology
  • pictorial stimuli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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