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Emotion expression modulates perception of animacy from faces

Emotion expression modulates perception of animacy from faces

Bowling, Natalie C. ORCID: 0000-0001-5784-3664 and Banissy, Michael J. (2017) Emotion expression modulates perception of animacy from faces. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 71. pp. 83-95. ISSN 0022-1031 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2017.02.004)

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Abstract

Discriminating real human faces from artificial can be achieved quickly and accurately by face-processing networks, but less is known about what stimulus qualities or interindividual differences in the perceiver might influence whether a face is perceived as being alive. In the present studies, morphed stimuli differing in levels of animacy were created. Participants made judgements about whether the face appeared animate at different levels along the morph continuum. The faces varied in terms of emotional expression (happy vs. neutral) and gender. Male faces were judged to be animate at a lower threshold (i.e., closer to the inanimate end of the continuum) than female faces. Animacy was also perceived more readily in faces with happy expressions than neutral. These effects were observed across two separate studies involving different participants and different sets of stimuli (animate faces morphed with dolls or those morphed with computer generated faces). Finally, the influence of interindividual variability in personality traits on animacy perception was examined. This revealed that an externally oriented cognitive style, a component of alexithymia, was associated with lower thresholds for perceiving animacy, for animate faces morphed with dolls. The findings are discussed in relation to inter- and intra-individual variability in animacy perception and social interaction.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animacy, Face perception, Emotion, Alexithymia, Objectification
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 16 May 2020 22:57
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28199

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