Behavioral predictions based on perceptions of facial expressions of emotion

David Matsumoto1
1University of California, United States
Cite this article:  Matsumoto, D. (1983). Behavioral predictions based on perceptions of facial expressions of emotion. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 11, 97-104.

Volume 11 Issue 1 | e393 | Published: February 1983 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1983.11.1.97

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Current theory and research on the emotions have tended to overlook the importance and possible role of perception on the activation of a change in the feeling states of the individual. Consequently the interaction of the perception subsystem with the individual in a predictive or behavioral way has likewise been largely ignored by emotion researchers. Ironically other fields of research gives us some insight to the perceptual and affective processes. In this study subjects were presented with thirty different photographs of people posing in several different emotions. In addition to asking some "traditional" questions as identifying the emotion expressed or rating how strongly or well the emotions were communicated, subjects were also asked to make predictions as to how often they would either see or perform each expression. The pattern of results obtained was generally consistent with what was expected, and were important in two ways: (1) Neutral expressions were found to vary in similar ways with other effective affective expressions, implying that what we have been considering as neutral may in actuality be a lower-level interaction of affects, rather than a state of non-affect; (2) these results open the way for studies involving the process of perception, and provide a framework from which we can describe the role of the perceptual subsystem within the affect system.
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