The affective eliciting and reducing properties of attraction stimuli

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John Lamberth
Charles Gouaux
Wayne Padd
Cite this article:  Lamberth, J., Gouaux, C., & Padd, W. (1973). The affective eliciting and reducing properties of attraction stimuli. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 1(2), 93-107.


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In three different experiments we investigated the affect eliciting and reducing properties of attraction stimuli. In Experiment 1 it was found that dissimilar attitudes elicit negative effect (as measured by the semantic differential), while the evaluation of the stranger holding those attitudes reduced affect. Similar attitudes did not elicit positive affect. Further, affect was not reliably altered by similar or dissimilar attitudes when the affect was measured by the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist or the Social Avoidance and Distress Scale. In Experiment 2 it was tentatively concluded that the simultaneous use of more than one measure of affect can influence scores of all affective measures used. The inconsistency in results in Experiment 1 was attributed to the use of multiple affect measures in certain groups. In Experiment 3 the results of Experiment 1 were replicated while introducing a more powerful stimulus in an attempt to elicit positive effect. As in Experiment 1, negative stimuli elicited negative affect and, as predicted, positive evaluations elicited positive affect. Evaluation of the person who had delivered the affect eliciting personal evaluations effectively reduced that affect.
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