The effects of the order of picture presentation on the subjective emotional evaluation of pictures
In the last twenty years, a great number of studies on subjective emotional evaluation of affective pictures have been published. However, it is well-known that the order of presentation may entail sequential effects, which is the perception of a previous stimulus that may influence the next stimulus's perception. Our study examines whether the order of picture presentation influences the subjective evaluation of their affective valence and arousal. The results showed some influence of the order of presentation on affective valence: unpleasant pictures at the end were less unpleasant than unpleasant pictures at the beginning, and the neutral picture, when presented after unpleasant pictures, was more pleasant than when presented after pleasant pictures. No effect of presentation order on arousal was found. These findings suggest that several picture presentation orders should be used in future experiments on emotions to avoid possible effects of the order on affective valence.