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

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

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to elucidate further Pixton’s and colleagues (2007, 2008, 2009) results with a between-group study. Two groups (happy, angry) viewed pictures of facial expressions (Tottenham et al., 2009) with three presentation 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 happy (happy-group) or angry (angry-group) and “no†if not. In Part 2, they rated each face stimulus on each of three scales (angriness, happiness, emotionality). “Neutral†faces were not rated equally neutral by either group. Taking this into account, adjusted d values were higher for the happy-face group than for the angry-face group for the two longest times. Together with Pixton and colleagues’ results, when investigating the detectability of emotions, account must be taken of the particular stimuli used, which has now been demonstrated in a between-groups and a within-participants study.

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