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Cogn Emot. 2011 Nov;25(7):1291-8. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2010.543016. Epub 2011 May 24.

The role of cognitive appraisal in media-induced presence and emotions.

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Department of Psychology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


In the present study, we applied Valins' (1966) bogus bodily feedback paradigm to investigate the roles of cognitive appraisal (tele)presence, and emotion in the context of media usage. Participants (N=30) viewed short sequences of a TV show, whereby false heart rate feedback was provided. In line with Valins' paradigm, the manipulation we used in this study included two levels: high vs. low false heart rate feedback. We assessed presence, enjoyment, and the real heart rate. Participants reported stronger experiences of presence and enjoyed the clips more when they wrongly believed that they had been aroused. Since bogus feedback increases the sensation of presence, the results indicate that presence-like emotions-can be influenced by cognitive appraisals. It is likely that the false heart rate feedback was attributed to the stimulus, which in turn enhanced the sensation of presence.

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