Affective theory of mind inferences contextually influence the recognition of emotional facial expressions
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Northumbria University; University of Manchester
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AbstractThe recognition of emotional facial expressions is often subject to contextual influence, particularly when the face and the context convey similar emotions. We investigated whether spontaneous, incidental affective theory of mind inferences made while reading vignettes describing social situations would produce context effects on the identification of same-valenced emotions (Experiment 1) as well as differently-valenced emotions (Experiment 2) conveyed by subsequently presented faces. Crucially, we found an effect of context on reaction times in both experiments while, in line with previous work, we found evidence for a context effect on accuracy only in Experiment 1. This demonstrates that affective theory of mind inferences made at the pragmatic level of a text can automatically, contextually influence the perceptual processing of emotional facial expressions in a separate task even when those emotions are of a distinctive valence. Thus, our novel findings suggest that language acts as a contextual influence to the recognition of emotional facial expressions for both same and different valences.
CitationStewart, S. L. K., Schepman, A., Haigh, M., McHugh, R., & Stewart, A. J. (2018). Affective theory of mind inferences contextually influence the recognition of emotional facial expressions. Cognition and Emotion, 33(2), 272-287. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2018.1450224
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalCognition and Emotion
DescriptionThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Cognition and Emotion on 14-3-18, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2018.1450224