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Walking a mile in another’s shoes. The use of naturalistic stimulation to study emotional processing and empathy

Sampaolo, Erika (2024) Walking a mile in another’s shoes. The use of naturalistic stimulation to study emotional processing and empathy. Advisor: Cecchetti, Dr. Luca. Coadvisor: Lettieri, Prof. Giada . pp. 202. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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The present dissertation delves into the cutting-edge field of naturalistic stimulation to investigate the multifaceted nature of emotional experiences and the mechanisms underlying empathic responses. Through a series of behavioral studies, we explored 1) whether the emotional experience elicited by a movie can be embedded by a limited set of descriptors conventionally referred to as genres; 2) the affective unfolding of narratives, and the emotional transitions dynamics underlying individual experience; 3) the contribution of visual, acoustic, and semantic properties of the stimulus in predicting the subjective emotional experience. Our results show that the unfolding of emotions plays a crucial role in shaping how audiences perceive and categorize movies. Then, we confirm the existence of six archetypal patterns that shape the emotional trajectories of narratives, and we demonstrate that certain emotions may serve as triggers, others act as catalysts for subsequent reactions, or emerge as outcomes of appraised states. The same emotion may behave as both starting and landing state, suggesting the crucial role of context in shaping the inner emotional experience. Also, we find that, although we can predict a consistent amount of the audience's emotional states, the physical properties of the stimulus may not be entirely sufficient to reconstruct the subjective affective experience. Lastly, we assess the psychometric properties of two recently developed questionnaires measuring empathic abilities in the Italian population

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
PhD Course: Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2024 12:45
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/418

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