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Emotional expressions beyond facial muscle actions. A call for studying autonomic signals and their impact on social perception.

Kret ME - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: However, the fact that emotions are not just expressed by facial muscles alone is often still ignored in emotion perception research.Specifically, I will focus on the perception of implicit sources such as gaze and tears and autonomic responses such as pupil-dilation, eyeblinks and blushing that are subtle yet visible to observers and because they can hardly be controlled or regulated by the sender, provide important "veridical" information.I will here review this literature and suggest avenues for future research that will eventually lead to a better comprehension of how these signals help in making social judgments and understand each other's emotions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands ; Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center Amsterdam, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Humans are well adapted to quickly recognize and adequately respond to another's emotions. Different theories propose that mimicry of emotional expressions (facial or otherwise) mechanistically underlies, or at least facilitates, these swift adaptive reactions. When people unconsciously mimic their interaction partner's expressions of emotion, they come to feel reflections of those companions' emotions, which in turn influence the observer's own emotional and empathic behavior. The majority of research has focused on facial actions as expressions of emotion. However, the fact that emotions are not just expressed by facial muscles alone is often still ignored in emotion perception research. In this article, I therefore argue for a broader exploration of emotion signals from sources beyond the face muscles that are more automatic and difficult to control. Specifically, I will focus on the perception of implicit sources such as gaze and tears and autonomic responses such as pupil-dilation, eyeblinks and blushing that are subtle yet visible to observers and because they can hardly be controlled or regulated by the sender, provide important "veridical" information. Recently, more research is emerging about the mimicry of these subtle affective signals including pupil-mimicry. I will here review this literature and suggest avenues for future research that will eventually lead to a better comprehension of how these signals help in making social judgments and understand each other's emotions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Schematic representation of emotion processing during a social interaction.
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Figure 1: Schematic representation of emotion processing during a social interaction.

Mentions: Figure 1 shows how emotions that are expressed during a social interaction by Person A, through emotional contagion, influence the emotions and expressions of Person B. Person A and B not only mimic each other’s facial expression, they also link on the physiological level and without being aware of it, synchronize on the level of arousal. Whereas they from time to time may “force” social smiles when considered appropriate (this is where ‘cognition’ comes into play), they have no or very little control over their autonomic responses such as blushing, sweating and pupil dilation which may nonetheless spread to the other person. Emotions and feelings, the extent to which they are expressed and converged with, together with cognitive processes influence how the other person is perceived. I call this ‘social perception,’ which includes impressions, beliefs about how the other person is feeling, trust, liking etc.


Emotional expressions beyond facial muscle actions. A call for studying autonomic signals and their impact on social perception.

Kret ME - Front Psychol (2015)

Schematic representation of emotion processing during a social interaction.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4443639&req=5

Figure 1: Schematic representation of emotion processing during a social interaction.
Mentions: Figure 1 shows how emotions that are expressed during a social interaction by Person A, through emotional contagion, influence the emotions and expressions of Person B. Person A and B not only mimic each other’s facial expression, they also link on the physiological level and without being aware of it, synchronize on the level of arousal. Whereas they from time to time may “force” social smiles when considered appropriate (this is where ‘cognition’ comes into play), they have no or very little control over their autonomic responses such as blushing, sweating and pupil dilation which may nonetheless spread to the other person. Emotions and feelings, the extent to which they are expressed and converged with, together with cognitive processes influence how the other person is perceived. I call this ‘social perception,’ which includes impressions, beliefs about how the other person is feeling, trust, liking etc.

Bottom Line: However, the fact that emotions are not just expressed by facial muscles alone is often still ignored in emotion perception research.Specifically, I will focus on the perception of implicit sources such as gaze and tears and autonomic responses such as pupil-dilation, eyeblinks and blushing that are subtle yet visible to observers and because they can hardly be controlled or regulated by the sender, provide important "veridical" information.I will here review this literature and suggest avenues for future research that will eventually lead to a better comprehension of how these signals help in making social judgments and understand each other's emotions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands ; Amsterdam Brain and Cognition Center Amsterdam, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Humans are well adapted to quickly recognize and adequately respond to another's emotions. Different theories propose that mimicry of emotional expressions (facial or otherwise) mechanistically underlies, or at least facilitates, these swift adaptive reactions. When people unconsciously mimic their interaction partner's expressions of emotion, they come to feel reflections of those companions' emotions, which in turn influence the observer's own emotional and empathic behavior. The majority of research has focused on facial actions as expressions of emotion. However, the fact that emotions are not just expressed by facial muscles alone is often still ignored in emotion perception research. In this article, I therefore argue for a broader exploration of emotion signals from sources beyond the face muscles that are more automatic and difficult to control. Specifically, I will focus on the perception of implicit sources such as gaze and tears and autonomic responses such as pupil-dilation, eyeblinks and blushing that are subtle yet visible to observers and because they can hardly be controlled or regulated by the sender, provide important "veridical" information. Recently, more research is emerging about the mimicry of these subtle affective signals including pupil-mimicry. I will here review this literature and suggest avenues for future research that will eventually lead to a better comprehension of how these signals help in making social judgments and understand each other's emotions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus