Tomkins' polarity theory (1963b, 1965) proposes that ideologies in many domains may be described in terms of a very general humanistic-normative polarity and rest upon more basic loosely organized "ideo-affective postures" reflecting cognitive-affective dynamics derived from socialization experiences. Tomkins' theory provided the basis for three empirical studies exploring the personality context of ideo-affective postures. In Study 1, the humanistic-normative polarity (assessed by "taste" or "smell" imagery) was significantly related to interpersonal versus individualistic bases of self-conception and of value hierarchy in 202 Black college students. Study 2 systematically varied affective imagery and social-personal orientation and found both variables significantly related to judgments of facial expressions of emotion in an initial study and in a replication (Ns=40). Study 3 found humanistic-normative affective imagery related to students (N=20) affective responsiveness in a science education class. The results of all three studies offer clear support for Tomkins' formulation by demonstrating the role of ideo-affective postures in organizing personal judgments and choices and encourage further inquiry on basic cognitive-affective dynamics in personality.