Support Vector Machines and Affective Science

Emotion Review 12 (4):297-308 (2020)
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Support vector machines are being used increasingly in affective science as a data-driven classification method and feature reduction technique. Whereas traditional statistical methods typically compare group averages on selected variables, SVMs use a predictive algorithm to learn multivariate patterns that optimally discriminate between groups. In this review, we provide a framework for understanding the methods of SVM-based analyses and summarize the findings of seminal studies that use SVMs for classification or data reduction in the behavioral and neural study of emotion and affective disorders. We conclude by discussing promising directions and potential applications of SVMs in future research in affective science.



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