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Self-Assessment Manikin

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Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences


The Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) is a picture-oriented questionnaire developed to measure an emotional response (Bradley and Lang 1994). The questionnaire is designed to measure three features of an emotional response that have been identified as central to emotion in research conducted by Lang and colleagues (Lang et al. 1993). Specifically, there are single-item scales that measure valence/pleasure of the response (from positive to negative), perceived arousal (from high to low levels), and perceptions of dominance/control (from low to high levels).


Several theorists have explained human emotions as responses to environmental challenges that increase the individual’s likelihood of survival. While there is ongoing debate regarding what the defining features of an emotion are, emotions can be broadly conceptualized as “adaptive action tendencies that occur in response to changes inside or outside the organism, specifically changes that challenge states and...

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Correspondence to Matthew T. Feldner .

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Bynion, TM., Feldner, M.T. (2017). Self-Assessment Manikin. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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