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Recognizing Facial Emotions with Familiar and Unfamiliar Faces

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:11 PM by Chris Koch   [ updated Apr 24, 2010, 1:05 PM ]
Poster presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society in Boston, MA.
 
Abstract: The present study was conducted to determine if familiarity with an individual influences the facial features examined while recognizing emotions.  Pictures of a known person were shown as intact, with the eyes removed, or with the mouth removed.  Unfamiliar faces were shown in a similar manner.  Although there were no response time differences, there was a significant effect of familiarity (F(1, 15) = 34.86, p < .001) and face condition (F(2, 20) = 10.00, p < .001) for accuracy rate.  Subjects were more accurate when identifying the emotions of familiar faces while removing the eyes resulted in reduced accuracy.  There was no familiarity x face condition interaction.  Therefore, the eyes are important for recognizing the emotion in a facial expression regardless of whether or not we are familiar with an individual but, in general, we are more accurate identifying emotions of those we know.

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Chris Koch,
Apr 24, 2010, 1:00 PM
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