DETECTABILITY AND PERCEIVED DEGREE OF FACIAL HAPPINESS, ANGRINESS, AND EMOTION: THE ROLE OF THE PARTICULAR STIMULI

  • Tonya S. Pixton
  • Mats P. Englund
  • Ã…ke Hellström

Abstract

The purpose was to elucidate further Pixton’s (2007, 2008) results. Thirty participants (8men, 22 women) viewed pictures of facial expressions (Tottenham et al., 2009) with threepresentation times (12.50, 18.75, 25.00 ms) and completed a detection (Part 1) and a rating(Part 2) task. In Part 1, participants answered “yes†if they thought the face was emotionaland “no†if the face was not emotional. In Part 2, they rated each face stimulus on each ofthree scales (angriness, happiness, and emotionality). “Neutral†faces were not rated as quiteneutral on the different scales. The d′ values were higher for happy than for angry faces.When standardizing the d′ values for each face type through division by its Euclidean distancefrom the “neutral†face in the scaled emotion space, a male superiority effect appeared forboth happy and angry faces. Together with Pixtons’ results, this suggests that wheninvestigating the detectability of emotions, account must be taken of the particular stimuliused.
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