The non-neutrality of 'neutral' faces: Effect on discriminability of emotional expressions
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The main purpose of this study was to examine whether ‘neutral’ facial expressions are ratedas neutral. Facial expressions designated as angry, happy, and neutral were rated on anger,happiness, and emotionality. There were no significant differences in mean rating valuesbetween happy and angry faces on their relevant scales; neutral faces were rated somewhatangry and somewhat sad. Therefore, happy faces differed more from neutral faces than didangry faces. Furthermore, the sensitivity measures reported by Pixton (in press) were adjustedusing the mean difference value (MD) on each of the scale types between each genderemotioncombination and its neutral counterpart. The results showed that the general happysuperiorityand angry-male advantage effects disappeared, while angry-female faces weremore difficult to discriminate. These findings suggest that presumably ‘neutral’ faces are notnecessarily neutral, which ultimately may affect the discriminability of emotional facialexpressions.
emotion, face perception, facial expressions, scaling, Euclidean distance, signal detection (perception)
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-57165OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-57165DiVA: diva2:414415