SUBJECTIVE METRICS OF HOSTILE AND FRIENDLY FACIAL EXPRESSIONS: AN ISSUE WITH SCHEMATIC FACES.

  • Armando M. Oliveira
  • Nuno de Sá Teixeira
  • Miguel P. Oliveira
  • São João Brêda
  • Ricardo Viegas
  • Fátima Simões
  • Isabel B. Fonseca

Abstract

Visual search studies employing threatening and friendly schematic faces have been justifiedon the ground that strict geometric control of visual features can thereby be achieved. Thehappy face advantage (lower RTs) observed with realistic photos has accordingly beenattributed to perceptual uncontrolled factors, while the opposite threat advantage obtainedwith schematic faces was taken to reveal an evolutionary “preparedness†for threatdetection. We surmise that such claims can only be properly addressed through an approachdistinguishing between value-perceptual and importance-emotional parameters. Eyebrows,eyes and mouth were taken as factors in two integration tasks with schematic faces asking forjudgments of “expression intensity†and “friendliness-hostilityâ€. An averaging rule wasfound in both cases. Functional measurement was used to estimate independent “value†and“importance†parameters. Outcomes disavow the perceptual fairness of schematic stimuli,while still revealing higher importance of hostile features. General implications arepinpointed to the study of facial expressions.
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