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Title: Recognition of Facial Expressions of Emotion is Related to their Frequency in Everyday Life
Authors: Calvo, Manuel G.
Gutiérrez-García, Aída
Fernández-Martín, Andrés
Nummenmaa, Lauri
UNESCO Clasification: 610604 Análisis experimental de la conducta
Keywords: Emotion
Facial expression
Issue Date: 2014
Journal: Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 
Abstract: Cross-cultural and laboratory research indicates that some facial expressions of emotion are recognized more accurately and faster than others. We assessed the hypothesis that such differences depend on the frequency with which each expression occurs in social encounters. Thirty observers recorded how often they saw different facial expressions during natural conditions in their daily life. For a total of 90 days (3 days per observer), 2,462 samples of seen expressions were collected. Among the basic expressions, happy faces were observed most frequently (31 %), followed by surprised (11.3 %), sad (9.3 %), angry (8.7 %), disgusted (7.2 %), and fearful faces, which were the least frequent (3.4 %). A significant amount (29 %) of non-basic emotional expressions (e.g., pride or shame) were also observed. We correlated our frequency data with recognition accuracy and response latency data from prior studies. In support of the hypothesis, significant correlations (generally, above.70) emerged, with recognition accuracy increasing and latency decreasing as a function of frequency. We conclude that the efficiency of facial emotion recognition is modulated by familiarity of the expressions.
ISSN: 0191-5886
DOI: 10.1007/s10919-014-0191-3
Source: Journal of Nonverbal Behavior [ISSN 0191-5886], v. 38 (4), p. 549-567, (2014)
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