Context Modulation of the Perception of Individual Emotion by Surrounding Faces

[Speaker] Lee, Jeongsoo:1
[Co-author] Lim, Seung-lark:2, Lee, Donghoon:1
1:Pusan National University, Department of Psychology (Korea(Republic of Korea)), 2:University of Missouri Kansas City, Department of Psychology (United States of America)

Although the emotion recognition of individual faces have well been documented, it is still not clear how emotion perception is affected by social contextual factors. In the present research, we investigate how the recognition of surrounding people's emotion would influence the emotion perception of an individual. We presented eight surrounding faces in a circle and asked participants to classify their overall emotions into one of three emotional contexts (happy, angry, and neutral), and then they had to judge the emotion of a target face which came on lately in the center. Using the target faces morphed from angry to happy in 11 levels, we estimated the point of subjective equality (PSE) for each participant. The result showed that the PSE was shifted toward the context emotion. We argue that the perception of individual's emotion is greatly affected by social contextual factors such as surrounding people's emotion.
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