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Increased sensitivity to happy compared with fearful faces in a temporal two-interval forced-choice paradigm

Delicato, Louise, Finn, J, Morris, J and Smith, B (2014) Increased sensitivity to happy compared with fearful faces in a temporal two-interval forced-choice paradigm. Perception, 43 (S1). p. 75. ISSN 0301 0066

Item Type: Article


Psychophysical methodology is used to evaluate the strength of the visual signals contained in facial expressions. Stimuli were black and white images of faces expressing a neutral, positive (happy) or negative affect (e.g. fear or anger). A range of signal strengths (0-100%) of expressions were created by morphing the neutral and expressive images. Stimuli were presented for 200ms in a temporal two-interval forced-choice paradigm. One interval contained the neutral face (0%) and the other the expressive face (varied from 0 – 100%). Observers indicated the interval that contained the image that was more expressive. This emotion detection task showed that observers were more sensitive to happy compared with fearful expressions. This indicates that the emotion signals conveyed by a happy face are more salient than those conveyed by a fearful face. Future research on emotion recognition should consider using psychophysical methodology to perceptually equate stimuli with different expressions. This will remove signal strength as a possible confound.

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Depositing User: Louise Delicato


Item ID: 6737
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0301 0066
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Louise Delicato: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 14:35
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 09:11


Author: Louise Delicato ORCID iD
Author: J Finn
Author: J Morris
Author: B Smith

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing


Psychology > Psychology

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