Affective responses to imaged motor fluency

Electronic versions


  • Valerie Dennehy


Affective judgements of objects can be influenced by motor fluency (Hayes et al, 2008). However, the mechanisms that link emotion to motor fluency are not well understood. This thesis investigates whether imaging actions evokes an emotional response to fluency. In Study 2.1, participants imaged moving objects fluently (no obstacle) or non-fluently (avoiding an obstacle). Results indicated higher liking ratings for objects of fluent actions. Moreover, higher kinaesthetic imagery ability was associated with stronger emotional responses to fluency condition (Study 2.2). In Study 3, participants completed the movement imagery task from Study 2.1 using one of three imagery conditions: internal visual imagery, kinaesthetic imagery, or a combination of the two. Liking ratings were higher for objects of fluent actions, but only for the groups that used kinaesthetic imagery. Study 4 tests whether imaged motor fluency evokes emotion if the task does not require attending to emotional states. A direct measure of affect was implemented by measuring affective facial expressions using electromyography (EMG). This direct measure revealed that participants smiled more when responding to objects that were presented in the fluent condition compared to the nonfluent condition, suggesting emotional response to fluency is more positive and less negative than to non-fluency. This muscle-by-fluency interaction was evident while planning the imagery. These Studies demonstrate the possible embodied nature of emotional responses to movement fluency via kinaesthetic imagery, and that responses to imaged motor fluency occur spontaneously, even when attention is not directed toward emotional states


Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Sefydliad dyfarnu
Goruchwylydd / Goruchwylwyr / Cynghorydd
  • Amy Hayes (Goruchwylydd)
Dyddiad dyfarnuIon 2014