The Impact of Context on Affective Norms: A Case of Study With Suspense
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SourceFront. Psychol. 10:1988
The emotional response to a stimulus is typically measured in three variables called valence, arousal and dominance. Based on such dimensions, Bradley and Lang (1999) published the Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW), a corpus of affective ratings for 1,034 non-contextualized words. Expanded and adapted to many languages, ANEW provides a corpus to evaluate and to predict human responses to different stimuli, and it has been used in a number of studies involving analysis of emotions. However, ANEW seems not to appropriately predict affective responses to concepts when these are contextualized in certain situational backgrounds, in which words can have different connotations from those in non-contextualized scenarios. These contextualized affective norms have not been sufficiently contrasted yet because the literature does not provide a corpus of the ANEW list in specific contexts. On this basis, this paper reports on the creation of a new corpus of affective norms for the original 1,034 ANEW words in a particular context (a fictional scene of suspense). An extensive quantitative data analysis comparing both corpora was carried out, confirming that the affective ratings are highly influenced by the context.