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Title: The confusion of fear/surprise and disgust/anger in children: new evidence from eye movement technology
Authors: Young, Cheryl
Keywords: Perceptual-attentional limitations hypothesis;Age Differences;Disgust;Fear;Eye Movements
Issue Date: 16-May-2014
Publisher: Laurentian University of Sudbury
Abstract: Research shows that children often confuse facial expressions of fear with surprise and disgust with anger. According to the perceptual-attentional limitations hypothesis, facial expressions are confused because they share action units (Camras, 1980; Wiggers, 1982). Experiment 1 tested this hypothesis for the confusion between fear and surprise and Experiment 2 for the confusion between disgust and anger. Eye movements were monitored in both experiments. In experiment 1, the results showed that children were more accurate when two distinctive action units were presented than when the brow lowerer was the only distinctive action unit differentiating between fear and surprise. Furthermore, the results showed that participants spent more time fixating on the mouth than the eyebrows. They made more saccades when the only distinctive cue was in the eyebrows. In experiment 2, participants identified the emotion as anger when the mouth was open, and disgust when the mouth was closed, spending more time on the mouth when the mouth was open. These findings suggest that facial expressions are confused, not only because of the amount of visual similarities they share, but also because children do not allocate their attention to facial regions equally; they tend to focus on the mouth.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses
Psychology / Psychologie - Master's theses

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