Factors contributing to individual differences in facial expression categorisation

Green, Corinne and Guo, Kun (2017) Factors contributing to individual differences in facial expression categorisation. Cognition and Emotion . pp. 1-12. ISSN 0269-9931

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2016.1273200

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Abstract

Individuals vary in perceptual accuracy when categorising facial expressions, yet it is
unclear how these individual differences in non-clinical population are related to
cognitive processing stages at facial information acquisition and interpretation. We
tested 104 healthy adults in a facial expression categorisation task, and correlated
their categorisation accuracy with face-viewing gaze allocation and personal traits
assessed with Autism Quotient, anxiety inventory and Self-Monitoring Scale. The
gaze allocation had limited but emotion-specific impact on categorising
expressions. Specifically, longer gaze at the eyes and nose regions were coupled
with more accurate categorisation of disgust and sad expressions, respectively.
Regarding trait measurements, higher autistic score was coupled with better
recognition of sad but worse recognition of anger expressions, and contributed to
categorisation bias towards sad expressions; whereas higher anxiety level was
associated with greater categorisation accuracy across all expressions and with
increased tendency of gazing at the nose region. It seems that both anxiety and
autistic-like traits were associated with individual variation in expression
categorisation, but this association is not necessarily mediated by variation in gaze
allocation at expression-specific local facial regions. The results suggest that both
facial information acquisition and interpretation capabilities contribute to individual
differences in expression categorisation within non-clinical populations.

Keywords:Individual differences, facial expression categorisation, gaze behaviour, personal traits
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:25448
Deposited On:04 Jan 2017 14:28

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