Hyperventilation (HV) is often considered part of a defense response, implying an unpleasant emotion (negative valence) combined with a strong action tendency (high arousal). In this study, we investigated the importance of arousal and valence as triggers for HV responses. Forty women imagined eight different scripts varying along the arousal and valence dimensions. The scripts depicted relaxation, fear, depressive, action, and desire situations. After each trial, the imagery was rated for valence, arousal, and vividness. FetCO2, inspiratory and expiratory time, tidal volume, and pulse rate were measured in a nonintrusive way. FetCO2 drops and decreases in inspiratory and expiratory time occurred in all but the depressive and the relaxation scripts, suggesting that a defense conceptualization of hyperventilation is not always appropriate.