Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 105–124 | Cite as

Constructions of emotion: Discrepancy, arousal, and mood

  • Kathleen A. MacDowell
  • George Mandler


An interactive adventure-type computer game was used to explore the constructive components of emotional experience — sympathetic nervous system arousal and evaluative cognitions — postulated by discrepancy/evaluation theory. Manipulations of expectations produced significant and large heart rate changes for both positive and negative discrepancies. Autonomic response also reflected the degree of interruption/discrepancy produced by an event. Negatively toned (discrepant) events tended to produce significant intensity and higher overall autonomic arousal. In addition, subjects' intensity of experience was related to their autonomic response.


Heart Rate Nervous System Significant Intensity Social Psychology Computer Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen A. MacDowell
    • 1
  • George Mandler
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Human Information ProcessingUniversity of California, San DiegoLa Jolla

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