Visual hybrids induce anxiety: A microgenetic approach

J. Glicksohn, H. Yaniv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we investigate how our participants grapple with the inherent uncertainty of a visual hybrid, when presented as a sequential presentation of degraded and brief images. We argue that this uncertainty should lead to readily observable anxiety. A total of 44 students participated in this microgenetic study, employing 4 visual hybrids, each presented as a series of 14 blurred images. Of these hybrids, wolf-man and man-ostrich, comprise half-human/half-animal images that were rated as eliciting anxiety in a pretest. Our use of a microgenetic technique highlighted the fact that the participant's response to a visual hybrid is predominantly to first report the half-man component, and only after a rather long period of time to report the other component. We analyze elicited anxiety in both the verbal protocol and in its expression in the behavior of the participant during the experiment, as well as via a standard questionnaire. Visual hybrids elicit an emotional response, seen in both verbal report and the participant's behavior during the session.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)239-257
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology of Consciousness: Theory Research, and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


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