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Objective Measures of Emotion During Virtual Walks through Urban Environments
Biological Psychology Unit, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, A 1010, Vienna, Austria
School of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, 2308 NSW, Australia
Applied Neuroscience, Neuroconsult, Güntergasse 3/3, A-10190 Vienna, Austria
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 May 2011; in revised form: 1 June 2011 / Accepted: 1 June 2011 / Published: 1 July 2011
Abstract: Previous studies were able to demonstrate different verbally stated affective responses to environments. In the present study we used objective measures of emotion. We examined startle reflex modulation as well as changes in heart rate and skin conductance while subjects virtually walked through six different areas of urban Paris using the StreetView tool of Google maps. Unknown to the subjects, these areas were selected based on their median real estate prices. First, we found that price highly correlated with subjective rating of pleasantness. In addition, relative startle amplitude differed significantly between the area with lowest versus highest median real estate price while no differences in heart rate and skin conductance were found across conditions. We conclude that interaction with environmental scenes does elicit emotional responses which can be objectively measured and quantified. Environments activate motivational and emotional brain circuits, which is in line with the notion of an evolutionary developed system of environmental preference. Results are discussed in the frame of environmental psychology and aesthetics.
Keywords: startle reflex modulation; urban environments; emotion and motivation; affective appraisal; environmental preference
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MDPI and ACS Style
Geiser, M.; Walla, P. Objective Measures of Emotion During Virtual Walks through Urban Environments. Appl. Sci. 2011, 1, 1-11.
Geiser M, Walla P. Objective Measures of Emotion During Virtual Walks through Urban Environments. Applied Sciences. 2011; 1(1):1-11.
Geiser, Moritz; Walla, Peter. 2011. "Objective Measures of Emotion During Virtual Walks through Urban Environments." Appl. Sci. 1, no. 1: 1-11.