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Keywords:

  • Children;
  • Startle;
  • Emotion;
  • Pictures;
  • Ratings

Many studies have shown a consistent pattern in adults' responses to affective pictures and there is growing evidence of gender differences, as well. Little is known, though, about children's verbal, behavioral, and physiological responses to affective pictures. Two experiments investigated children's responses to pictures. In Experiment 1, children, adolescents, and adults viewed pictures varying in affective content and rated them for pleasure, arousal, and dominance. Results indicated that children and adolescents rated the pictures similarly to adults. In Experiment 2, physiological responses, self-report, and viewing time were measured while children viewed affective pictures. As with adults, children's responses reflected the affective content of the pictures. Gender differences in affective evaluations, corrugator activity, skin conductance, startle modulation, and viewing time indicated that girls were generally more reactive to unpleasant materials.