1991 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 147-154
This study examined the effects of emotional positivity, target object's sex and emotional intensity on subject's gaze utilizing female subjects. The hypotheses were as follows: 1. For female subjects, a positive message will produce more gaze than negative message. 2a. For female subjects, more gaze time will be produced when viewing persons of the same sex as the subject, regardless of the degree of emotional positivity/ negativity. 2b. For female subjects, the emotional negativity effect will be reduced when they gaze at persons of the opposite sex. 3. For female subjects, high emotional intensity will produce more gaze toward the target person. The subjects were sixty-four female junior college students. This study manipulated emotional positivity (positive message and negative message), target' s sex and emotional intensity (high intensity and low intensity) in a 2×2×2 factorial design. Subjects were randomly assigned to each of four experimental groups. They expressed either a friendly or hostile message to two female targets or two male targets with both a strong and a weak intensity. The results generally supported hypotheses 2a, 2b, and 3. Hypothesis 1 was not supported. For female subjects, emotional positivity did not affect visual behavior. The results showed that more gaze was associated with a target of the same sex as the subject, as contrasted to a target of the opposite sex. When female subjects expressed a negative message to opposite sex targets, their gaze time was reduced. It was demonstrated that a condition of strong emotional intensity evoked more gaze regardless of the message' s positivity or sex of the target.