A comparison of younger and older adults' self-assessment Manikin ratings of affective pictures

Richard W. Backs, Sergio P. Da Silva, Kyunghee Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) ratings were used to examine whether groups of 21 younger (M age = 20.02 years, SD = 2.28) and 21 older (M age = 66.26 years, SD = 5.64) adults had similar affective experiences to pictures from the International Affective Picture System (Lang, Bradley, & Cuthbert, 1997). The psychometrics of the SAM valence and arousal scales were also compared across age groups. Internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha) was similar for younger and older adults, where both groups made less consistent valence ratings than arousal ratings. Both groups differed from the norms for valence for pleasant pictures, but were no more different from each other than they were from the norms. Age group differences were most evident in the pleasant region of the bivariate valence by arousal affective space, where younger adults found pleasant-aroused pictures to be more pleasant and arousing than older adults did. We suggest that this age group difference could be explained by greater affect intensity and surgency for the younger group and greater emotional control and leveling of positive affect for the older group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-440
Number of pages20
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2005

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