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Reading the emotional states through facial expressions : Developmental change during adulthood

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2008, 21(3), pp.63-80
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

송인혜 1 Ghim, Hei-rhee 1 조경자 1 이수미 1

1충북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this study, it was tested whether the ability to recognize the emotional states through facial expression changes by age (university students, middle-aged, older adults), dimensions of emotion(pleasantness/unpleasantness dimensions), and face parts (whole face, eyes, mouth) during adulthood. A total 32 pictures of emotional facial expressions and emotion vocabularies were used as stimuli. In each trial, subjects were shown 4 pictures of emotional facial expressions and one emotion vocabulary. Subjects were told to choose one suitable facial expression which was matched to the emotion vocabulary. Older adults performed worse that the middle age. However, older adults' performances were not declined equal amount in all conditions: Older adults' performances were declined greater amount in reading the pleasant and unpleasant emotions from the eyes or mouth regions, but declined far less amount in reading the pleasant emotions from the whole face. The present results cannot be explained by the deterioration of cognitive abilities, but could be explained by the theory of affective optimization.

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