Abstract

The present study assessed the usefulness of the affective list alternatives to the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVL) in the induction of physiological arousal. It was anticipated that affective verbal learning would lead to arousal patterns characteristic of different emotions (Izard, 1977), with significant increases in blood pressure following negative list learning and significant decreases following positive list learning. Since diastolic blood pressure increased significantly following the learning of negatively valanced words and decreased significantly following the learning of positively valanced words, this was supported. Given the abundance of research on lateral asymmetries in emotional and verbal processing, the affective list alternatives to the RAVL may provide an objective means for evaluating individual differences in affective verbal learning as well as the induction of emotion. The Affective Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AAVL) may potentially provide a tool for assessment of cerebral dysfunction in the clinic or in the assessment of affective disorders.