• Enhanced threat detection in experienced riot police officers: Cognitive evidence from the face-in-the-crowd effect

      Damjanovic, Ljubica; Pinkham, Amy E.; Clarke, Philip; Phillips, Jeremy; University of Chester; Southern Methodist University (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2013-10-24)
      We explored how varying levels of professional expertise in hostile crowd management could enhance threat detection capabilities as assessed by the face in the crowd paradigm. Trainee police officers and more experienced police officers specialized in, and having extensive experience with, riot control, were compared with participants with no experience in hostile crowd management on their search times and accuracy levels in detecting angry and happy face targets against a display of emotional and neutral dis- tractor faces. The experienced officers relative to their trainee counterparts and nonpolice controls showed enhanced detection for threatening faces in both types of display along with a greater degree of inhibitory control over angry face distractors. These findings help to reinforce the ecological validity of the face in the crowd paradigm and provide a new theoretical link for the role of individual differences on the attentional processing of socially relevant stimuli.
    • Sweet Emotion: The Role of Odor-Induced Context in the Search Advantage for Happy Facial Expressions

      Damjanovic, Ljubica; Wilkinson, Heather; Lloyd, Julie; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2017-12-23)
      The current study investigated the extent to which the concurrent presentation of pleasant and unpleasant odors could modulate the perceptual saliency of happy facial expressions in an emotional visual search task. Whilst a search advantage for happy faces was found in the no odor and unpleasant odor conditions, it was abolished under the pleasant odor condition. Furthermore, phasic properties of visual search performance revealed the malleable nature of this happiness advantage. Specifically, attention towards happy faces was optimized at the start of the visual search task for participants presented with pleasant odors, but diminished towards the end. This pattern was reversed for participants in the unpleasant odor condition. These patterns occur through the emotion-inducing capacities of odors and highlight the circumstances in which top-down factors can override perceptually salient facial features in emotional visual search.