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Seven- to 11-year-olds’ developing ability to recognize natural facial expressions of basic emotions

Lang, Kathleen; Anthoney, Laura; Mitchell, Peter

Authors

Kathleen Lang

Laura Anthoney

Peter Mitchell



Abstract

Being able to recognize facial expressions of basic emotions is of great importance to social development. However, we still know surprisingly little about children’s developing ability to interpret emotions that are expressed dynamically, naturally and subtly, despite real-life expressions having such appearance in the vast majority of cases. The current research employs a new technique of capturing dynamic, subtly expressed natural emotional displays (happy, sad, angry, shocked and disgusted). Children aged 7, 9 and 11 years (and adults) were systematically able to discriminate each emotional display from alternatives in a 5-way choice. Children were most accurate in identifying the expression of happiness and were also relatively accurate in identifying the expression of sadness; they were far less accurate than adults in identifying shocked and disgusted. Children who performed well academically also tended to be the most accurate in recognizing expressions and this relationship maintained independently of chronological age. Generally, the findings testify to a well-developed ability to recognize very subtle naturally occurring expressions of emotions.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Perception
Print ISSN 0301-0066
Electronic ISSN 1468-4233
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 9
APA6 Citation Lang, K., Anthoney, L., & Mitchell, P. (in press). Seven- to 11-year-olds’ developing ability to recognize natural facial expressions of basic emotions. Perception, 46(9), doi:10.1177/0301006617709674
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0301006617709674
Keywords emotion, facial expressions, face perception, development, emoticon
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0301006617709674
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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