Language, Image, and Emotion

  • Peter J. Lang
Part of the Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect book series (ASCA, volume 5)


The power of language to evoke emotional imagery is well understood by playwrights and novelists. Through artful composition they can generate the whole spectrum of affective reactions in the receptive reader or listener. Psychotherapists make similar use of language to instigate emotional responses in their patients. In fact, the instructional evocation of emotional imagery is a basic treatment intervention in a host of therapies, varying widely in theory and purpose, from systematic desensitization to transactional analysis.


Verbal Report Propositional Structure Emotional Image Instructional Control Imagery Experience 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ax, A. F. The physiological differentiation between fear and anger in humans. Psychosomatic Medicine, 1957, 19, 17–29.Google Scholar
  2. Hebb, D. O. Concerning imagery. Psychological Review, 1968, 75, 466–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Jung, C. G. Man and his symbols. New York: Dell, 1968.Google Scholar
  4. Kieras, D. Beyond pictures and words: Alternative information-processing models for imagery effects in verbal memory. Psychological Bulletin, 1978, 85, 532–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Klorman, R., Weerts. T. C., Hastings, J. E., Melamed, B. G., and Lang, P. J. Psychometric description of some specific-fear questionnaires. Behavior Therapy, 1974, 5, 401–409.Google Scholar
  6. Kozak, M. J. The psychophysiology of emotional imagery: A structural analysis of image processing. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Wisconson-Madison, 1977.Google Scholar
  7. La Barre, W. Anthropological perspectives on hallucination and hallucinogens. In R. K. Siegel and L. J. West (Eds.), Hallucinations: Behavior, experience, and theory. New York: Wiley, 1975.Google Scholar
  8. Lang, P. J. Imagery in therapy: An information processing analysis of fear. Behavior Therapy, 1977, 8, 862–886.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lang, P. J. Emotional imagery and visceral control. In R. J. Gatchel and K. P. Price (Eds.), Clinical applications of biofeedback: Appraisal and status. Elmsford, N.Y.: Pergamon, 1979.Google Scholar
  10. Marks, D. F. Individual differences in the vividness of visual imagery and their effect on function. In P. W. Sheehan (Ed.), The function and nature of imagery. New York: Academic, 1972.Google Scholar
  11. Pylyshyn, Z. W. What the mind’s eye tells the mind’s brain: A critique of mental imagery. Psychological Bulletin, 1973, 80, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Shedd, W. G. R. (Ed.). Biographia literaria. New York: Harper, 1884 (originally published, 1817), vol. 3, p. 365.Google Scholar
  13. Sperry, R. W. Neurology and the mind-brain problem. American Scientist, 1952, 40, 291–312.Google Scholar
  14. Schachter, J. Pain, fear, and anger in hypertensives and normotensives. Psychosomatic Medicine, 1958, 14, 433–442.Google Scholar
  15. Weerts, T. C., and Roberts, R. The physiological effects of imagining anger-provoking and fear-provoking scenes. Paper presented at the Society for Psychophysiological Research meetings, Toronto, 1975.Google Scholar
  16. Wolpe, T. Psychotherapy by reciprocal inhibition. Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1958.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Lang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations