Emotional perceptions from natural stimuli: displaying fear in Pamplona is all just bull

McCaul, Courtney (2015). Emotional perceptions from natural stimuli: displaying fear in Pamplona is all just bull Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author McCaul, Courtney
Thesis Title Emotional perceptions from natural stimuli: displaying fear in Pamplona is all just bull
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Nicole Nelson
Total pages 87
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
The field of emotion psychology has predominantly relied on posed stimuli to measure emotion recognition even though there is a discrepancy between recognition reliability of posed versus spontaneous expression. Similarly, many studies in the field of emotion psychology have overlooked the importance of distal cues and other methods of emotion communication. This study sourced spontaneous stimuli from the San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain and aimed to investigate recognition of spontaneous fear faces. This study also aimed to examine the influence of affective body language and vocal affect bursts on the perception of spontaneous fearful facial expressions and analyse looking behaviour by testing participants on an eye tracker. In accordance with the hypothesis, the spontaneous expressions of fear (tested in Experiment 1, N = 40) demonstrated substantial variability of emotion recognition as modal classifications varied across six different emotion categories. When the spontaneous faces were presented with body stimuli displaying four different emotions (in Experiment 2, N = 25), participants were more likely to rely on the emotion shown by the body. However, when the faces were presented concurrently with vocal affect bursts communicating four different emotions (in Experiment 3, N = 24), there was no difference between which cue participants relied on. In both Experiments 2 and 3, participants spent the most time looking at the top of the face and these results were not influenced by other cues or by congruency effects. Overall the findings suggest that spontaneous expressions of fear are ambiguous and influence how mismatched cues are interpreted. It is also suggested that cue reliance is based on an emotionspecific basis. It is interesting to note that looking behaviour was not influenced by cue reliance. The results advocate for increased use of spontaneous expression for emotion research.
Keyword Stimuli

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Created: Mon, 21 Mar 2016, 14:22:24 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology