Psych 104 Extra Credit IV/DV

College of the Canyons Psych 104 Extra Credit IV/DV This Study is an Experiment. How do you know?How many independent variables does the study have? What are the independent variables? Hay many levels do they have?How many Dependent Variables does the study have? What are the dependent variables? How have the researchers used randomization in this study?
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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
1966, Vol. 4, No. 4, 400-408
COGNITIVE EFFECTS OF FALSE HEART-RATE FEEDBACK 1
STUART VALINS
University of North Carolina
This experiment was concerned with some of the cognitive effects of internal
events. The objective was to ascertain whether the labeling of emotional
stimuli would be affected by information concerning internal reactions. Ss
viewed 10 slides of seminude females while hearing sounds that were allegedly
their heart beats. 1 group of Ss heard their “heart rates” increase markedly
to 5 of the slides and not change to the other 5; a 2nd group of Ss heard
a marked decrease in the bogus heart rate to S of the slides and no change to
the other S. In comparison with the slides to which Ss did not hear a change
in the bogus rate, the slides to which they heard a marked change, whether
increased or decreased, were (a) rated significantly more attractive during the
experiment proper and during a disguised interview conducted 4-5 wk.
later, and (b) chosen significantly more as remuneration for experimental
participation.
Although there is considerable evidence
that emotional states are accompanied by
physiological changes (Duffy, 1962; Woodworth & Schlosberg, 1962), until recently
there was little indication that these internal
events facilitate the development of emotional behavior. Several experiments have now
shown that emotional behavior is affected by
the experimental manipulation of sympathetic
activity. Emotional behavior is more readily
learned when the sympathetic nervous system
is intact than when it is surgically enervated
(Wynne & Solomon, 1955), and more readily
manifested during epinephrine-induced states
of sympathetic activation than during states
of relative inactivation (Latane & Schachter,
1962; Schachter & Singer, 1962; Schachter
& Wheeler, 1962; Singer, 1963).
In an attempt to account for the influence
of autonomic arousal on emotional behavior,
Schachter (1964) has emphasized the importance of the cognitive effects of internal
events. Within his cognitive-physiological
theory of emotion, physiological changes are
considered to function as stimuli or cues and
are represented cognitively as feelings or
sensations. These feelings, in turn, arouse
further cognitive activity in the form of attempts to identify the situation that precipi1
This research was conducted at Duke University
while the author was a National Institutes of Health
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Research Training Program in Sciences Related to the Central Nervous
System,
400
tated them. Emotional behavior results when
the feeling state is attributed to an emotional
stimulus or situation. The optimum conditions
for the development of an emotion are thus
present when an individual can say, “That
stimulus [emotional] has affected me internally.” In accord with these notions, it has
been found that when subjects are pharmacologically aroused and exposed to stimuli designed to induce emotion, more emotional
behavior is manifested when the arousal state
is attributed to the emotional situation than
when it is attributed to the injection
(Schachter & Singer, 1962). Furthermore, the
results of a recent experiment suggest that
the effects of internal cues on emotional behavior may be mediated by an alteration in
the perceived intensity of the emotional
stimulus. Nisbett and Schachter (1966)
found that when a series of electric shocks
were administered to subjects who were in a
mild state of fear, the shocks were judged
to be more painful by those subjects who
correctly attributed their internal symptoms
to the shocks than by subjects who incorrectly
attributed their symptoms to a pill.
Once it is granted that internal events can
function as cues or stimuli then these events
can now be considered as a source of cognitive
information. They can, for example, result in
cognitions such as, “My heart is pounding,”
or “My face is flushed.” As potential cognitive information, however, these events are
subject to the same mechanisms that process
FALSE HEART-RATE FEEDBACK
any stimulus before it is represented cognitively. Such mechanisms can result in their
being denied, distorted, or simply not perceived. It is thus plausible that the cognitive
representation of an internal event can be
nonveridical; a particular reaction can fail to
register or can be misperceived, and a nonexistent reaction can be represented cognitively. Handler (1962) also has questioned
the veridicality of internal sensations and
suggests that:
. . . someone may learn to make statements about
his internal private events under the control of
environmental stimuli or irrelevant internal stimuli.
Thus, I could say, “I am blushing,” in an embarrassing situation without showing any signs of
peripheral vasodilation. Or I may have learned to
talk about tenseness in my stomach in a stress
situation without stomach events exerting any
influence on such a remark [p. 317].
If cognitive representations of internal
events are important for emotional behavior,
then these nonveridical representations of
physiological changes should have the same
effects as veridical ones. They will be evaluated by reference to a precipitating situation
and result in emotional behavior if the situation is an emotional one. Using Mandler’s
example, his “symbolic” blusher should be
equally embarrassed with or without the
presence of peripheral vasodilation. He should
be less embarrassed, however, if he now has
a mirror at his disposal and observes that
he is not blushing. Embarrassment should be
greatest only when he thinks that he has
blushed in response to the situation.
The present experiment represents an attempt to determine the effects of nonveridical
cognitive cues concerning internal reactions
on the labeling of emotional stimuli. This
will be accomplished by manipulating the
extent to which a subject believes his heart
has reacted to slides of seminude females
and by observing the effects on his “liking”
for the slides. The research of Schachter and
his associates suggests that if a subject were
covertly injected with epinephrine and shown
a slide of a nude female, he would interpret
his internal sensations as due to the nude
stimulus and he would label the girl as more
attractive than if he had been injected with
placebo and he had experienced no internal
sensations. If, however, it is the cognitive
401
effect of internal events that influences emotional behavior, then this same influence
should be observed when subjects think that
they have reacted to a given stimulus, regardless of whether they have indeed reacted.
As such, it is hypothesized that the cognition,
“That girl has affected my heart rate,” will
induce subjects to consider the girl more attractive or appealing than the cognition,
“That girl has not affected my heart rate.”
These effects are predicted regardless of
whether the heart-rate feedback matches the
subjects’ stereotyped expectations. Most of us
would expect that, if anything, our heart
rates would increase in response to photographs of nude females. How would we
interpret our heart-rate changes, however, if
the rate remained normal to some photographs but decreased substantially to others?
If all of the photographs were of attractive
females, we could not interpret a decrease
as indicating that a girl is a “dog.” If we felt
it necessary to evaluate these reactions at all,
it is likely that we would interpret any
change in our heart rates as indicating greater
attraction or appeal. Only if all of the photographs were relatively unattractive would we
expect that a decrease in heart rate be interpreted as less attraction, Thus, under the
appropriate cognitive conditions (highly attractive females), feedback indicating that
heart rate has decreased should affect the
labeling of emotional stimuli in a manner
similar to that of feedback indicating that
heart rate has increased.
PROCEDURE
Male introductory psychology students, whose
course requirements included 6 hours of participation
in experiments, volunteered for a psychophysiological
experiment. When the subject arrived at the laboratory, the experiment was described as a study of
physiological reactions to sexually oriented stimuli.
These reactions were allegedly being recorded while
the subjects viewed 10 slides of seminude females.
Two groups of subjects were led to believe that they
were hearing an amplified version of their hearts
beating while watching the slides and heard their
“heart rates” change markedly to half of them. Two
other groups of subjects heard the identical sounds,
but did not associate them with their own heart
beats. Several measures of the attractiveness of each
slide were subsequently obtained from all subjects
and used to evaluate the effects of the heart-rate
feedback.
402
STUART VALINS
Bogus Heart-Rate Conditions
Extraneous Sound Conditions
Subjects in these conditions were told that the
experiment was concerned with heart-rate reactions
to sexually oriented stimuli. It was explained that:
Subjects in these conditions thought that the
experiment was investigating vasomotor reactions to
sexually oriented stimuli. They were told that:
Most of our research is conducted over at the
Bell Medical Research Building. We have all sorts
of electronic wizardry and sound proof chambers
over there. Right now there are several experiments being conducted and our facilities at Bell
are too overcrowded. Because of this situation,
we are doing this experiment here, and are forced
to use a fairly crude but adequate measure of
heart rate. In our other lab we record heart
rate using electrodes which are taped to the chest.
They pick up the electrical impulses from the
heart which are then recorded on a polygraph.
Here we are recording heart rate the way they
used to do it 30 years ago. I will be taping this
fairly sensitive microphone to your chest. It picks
up each major heart sound which is amplified
here, and initiates a signal on this signal tracer.
This other microphone then picks up the signal
and it is recorded on this tape recorder (the signal
tracer, amplifier, and tape recorder were on a
table next to the subject). By appropriately using
a stop watch and this footage indicator, I can
later determine exactly where each stimulus occurred and evaluate your heart rate reaction to it.
Unfortunately, this recording method makes it
necessary to have audible sounds. They would be
a serious problem if we were employing a task
which required concentration. Since our procedure
does not require concentration, it won’t be too
much of a problem and it is not likely to affect
the results. All that you will be required to do
is sit here and look at the slides. Just try to ignore
the heart sounds. I will be showing the slides from
the next room through this one-way screen. I’ll
tape this microphone to your chest and after
recording your resting heart rate for a while,
1 will present 10 slides to you at regular intervals.
Then I will record your resting heart rate again
for several minutes and I will repeat the same
slides again in the same order.
Most of our research is conducted over at the
Bell Medical Research Building. We have all sorts
of electronic wizardry and sound proof chambers
over there. I am doing this experiment now because of the conflicting results which we have
obtained in two other identical experiments which
we have done over at Bell. One experiment was
done in a completely sound proof chamber. Another one was done in an office in which extraneous sounds could be heard, bells ringing in the
hallway, people walking up and down, etc. Well,
the results in these two experiments were not
the same. We feel that it is possible that the
results may have been different due to the extraneous sounds which were heard in the experiment
where the subject was in an office. To determine
whether extraneous sounds can affect finger temperature reactions to sexual stimuli, throughout
this experiment you will hear sounds from this
tape recorder, sounds that are completely meaningless but are just our way of controlling and
producing extraneous sound. Later I will compare
your finger temperature reactions to sexual stimuli
with those of subjects who do not hear any
sounds. I can then assess the physiological effects
of the extraneous sounds and determine whether
they were the reason why we obtained directionally different results in the two other experiments.
These sounds have absolutely no meaning for
you. Just try to ignore them. I will be showing
the slides from the next room through this oneway screen. I’ll tape this thermistor to your finger
and after recording your resting finger temperature for a while, I will present 10 slides to you
at regular intervals. Then I will record your
resting finger temperature again for several minutes
and I will repeat the same slides again in the
same order.
After taping the microphone to the subject’s chest,
the experimenter started the tape recorder and left
the room. The sounds which these subjects were
hearing were in reality prerecorded. A concealed wire
from the tape recorder fed these sounds into the
signal tracer speaker. Twenty subjects heard a tape
recording which indicated that their heart rates had
increased substantially to five slides, but had not
changed to five others (heart-rate increase group) ;
20 other subjects heard a tape recording which indicated that their heart rates had decreased substantially to five of the slides, but had not changed to
the other five (heart-rate decrease group) .2
2
It should be mentioned that Gerard and Rabbie
(1961) and Bramel (1963) have used a similar
technique in order to make subjects think that they
were more or less frightened or homosexual. They
accomplished this by allowing subjects to see dial
readings which purportedly indicated internal reactions to experimental stimuli, but which were actually under the control of the experimenter. These
investigators, however, were not primarily concerned with the evaluation and labeling of internal
states. Their manipulations included detailed explanations of the “meaning” of the dial readings, so
that subjects had no choice but to later indicate
that they were or were not frightened or homosexual. In contrast, subjects in the present experiment
were (a) specifically instructed to ignore the bogus
heart sounds, (6) told nothing about the meaning
of heart-rate changes, and (c) told that the experimenter could not hear the heart sounds and thus
would not know for some time how the subject
had reacted. It is the purpose of the present experiment to determine whether subjects will spontaneously label their feelings toward a stimulus by
reference to their knowledge of how their hearts
have reacted.
FALSE HEART-RATE FEEDBACK
A dummy thermistor was then taped to the subject’s finger, the tape recorder started, and the experimenter left the room. Ten of these subjects
(sound increase group) heard the same tape recording as the heart-rate increase group, and 10 (sound
decrease group) heard the same recording as the
heart-rate decrease group. The sounds emanated
from the signal tracer as in the experimental conditions, but the subjects were now told that it was
just an elaborate speaker.
Tape Recordings
The tape recordings were made by recording
square wave pulses produced by a Hewlett-Packard
low-frequency signal generator, a signal tracer used
as a capacitance network, and an external speaker.
Pulses of a given frequency per minute could be
varied over a wide range.
Heart beat and sound increase recording. This
recording began with the pulse rate varying every
S seconds between 66 and 72 beats per minute
(BPM). At the start of the third minute the rate
increased in S-second segments from 72 to 84 and
then to 90 BPM. It then decreased to 84, 78, and to
72 BPM, and subsequently continued to vary between 66 and 72 BPM. The identical rate increase
was recorded at minutes S, 8, 10, 11, IS, 17, 20, 22,
and 23. The rate continued to vary between 66 and
72 BPM at minutes 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18,
19, 21, and 24.
Heart beat and sound decrease recording. This
recording was the same as the previous one except
for the minutes at which the rate increased. At the
start of the third minute for this recording, the rate
decreased from 66 to 54 and then to 48 BPM. It
then increased to 54, 60, and to 66 BPM, and
subsequently continued to vary between 66 and 72
BPM. This same decrease in rate was recorded
whenever an increase had been recorded on the
other tape.
Coordination of Slides with Tape Recordings
Ten color slides were made from photographs of
seminude females which had been published by
Playboy magazine. The slides were projected at 1minute intervals, each for 15 seconds. The first slide
was presented approximately 1 minute, 58 seconds
after the tape-recorded sounds had begun so that
a marked change in the rate of the sounds was
evident 2 seconds afterward. Since the remaining
nine slides were presented at 1-minute intervals,
this same slide-sound change contingency was apparent for slides 3, 6, 8, and 9. Slides 2, 4, 5, 7,
and 10 were presented at the minutes when no
change in the rate of the sounds occurred. After the
tenth slide (Minute 12 on the tape recording), there
was a 3-minute break during which the rate of the
sounds varied between 66 and 72 BPM. The slides
were then repeated in the same manner starting at
Minute 15. The slide order was also systematically
rotated within conditions so that each slide was
followed by a sound change as often as it was not.
403
To further clarify the procedure, consider the
experimental situation as viewed by a subject who
thought he was hearing his heart beating. For 2
minutes, he hears it beating at what appears to
be a normal and reasonable rate. The first slide is
then presented, and shortly afterward he notices a
marked change in his heart rate. After IS seconds
of observing the slide, his heart rate gradually returns to what has been established as normal. The
second slide is presented, but there is not any noticeable effect on his heart rate. It continues to vary
between 66 and 72 BPM. After seeing all 10 slides,
it is apparent that 5 of them have affected his heart
rate, but the other S have not. This conclusion is
reinforced when, after a 3-minute period of normal
heart rate, the slides are shown again, and the same
ones affect his heart rate, while the others have no
effect.
A ttractiveness Measures
The effects of heart-rate feedback were assessed
by determining the extent to which it influenced the
subject’s opinions of how attractive the girls were.
Three measures of these opinions were obtained:
(a) attractiveness ratings which were made immediately after the bogus feedback, (6) choice of photographs as remuneration, (c) attractiveness rankings
made several weeks after the experiment.
Slide ratings. After the second presentation of the
slides, the experimenter disengaged the apparatus
and briefly discussed the slides with the subject. The
subject was then told that 12 slides were originally
being used but that 2 were eliminated in order to
shorten the procedure. It was explained that the
experimenter was now considering reducing the
number of slides to 7 or 8. He was asking a number
of subjects to rate the slides so that only the
7 or 8 most attractive or appealing ones would be
included. The slides vere quickly shown again to
the subject and, using a 100-point scale ranging
from “Not at all” to “Extremely,” he rated them
as to: “How attractive or appealing each girl is
to you.”
Photograph choices. The subject then completed a
short questionnaire which was followed by an intensive interview to determine whether he had accepted the experimental deceptions. The physiology
of sexual arousal was also discussed, but no mention
was ever made of the true purpose of the experiment
or of the experimental deceptions. The experimenter
apologized for being unable to pay the subject and
offer …
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