Using international emotional picture sets in countries suffering from violence

Authors

  • Hadas Okon-Singer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology and Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    • Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany
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    • Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

  • Ora Kofman,

    1. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology and Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
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  • Joseph Tzelgov,

    1. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology and Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
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  • Avishai Henik

    1. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Psychology and Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
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  • We would like to thank Prof. David Watson for helpful comments on a previous version of this manuscript.

Abstract

It is hypothesized that ratings of emotional stimuli are affected by a constant threat of traumatic events. Ratings of valence and arousal on the International Affective Picture System from young adults in the United States were compared to those of young Israeli adults. Israelis rated the pictures as less negative and less positive than did participants from the United States. Israeli women gave higher arousal ratings compared to the American women. These differences may be due to compulsory military service in Israel, during which exposure to traumatic events is more likely to occur, and to the timing of the study which followed a year of frequent suicide bomb attacks. The authors suggest that these findings may reflect mild symptoms of stress disorders.

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