Detecting Emotions in Facial Expressions Research Paper

Detecting Emotions in Facial Expressions
This study examines the relationship between disease-avoidance goals and the perception of functionally relevant emotional expressions in neutral faces.
# 117910 | 4,800 words | 21 sources | APA | 2009 | CA

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In this article, the writer discusses that the emotion expressions exhibited by others can serve as abundant sources of information, indicating whether those people intend to harm, evade, or befriend the perceiver. The writer looks at research in which participants were made aware of an infectious threat, after which they reported the extent to which they saw specific emotions of disgust. The writer notes that results showed that inducing a disease avoidance motivation did not lead participants to see more disgust in target faces. Across all motivation conditions, however, women saw marginally more disgust in faces than did men. The writer concludes that further research should be conducted to better understand the cause of gender differences between chronic disease worries and a heightened vigilance for expressions of disgust.

Experimental Design
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From the Paper:

" The independent variable being manipulated was the type of threat that was made salient, which consisted of 3 levels: an infectious threat, a non-contagious physical threat, and no threat. They were manipulated between subjects. After watching the clip, participants were shown photographs of people with neutral facial expressions. The extent to which individuals identified neutral or ambiguous emotion expressions as a) disgust and b) anger were the two dependent variables involved in the study, and they were measured on an ordinal scale. Participants were asked to identify the expression they thought the person was making, and could respond to each face by saying they saw no emotion, identifying the emotion as disgust, or identifying the emotion as anger. The fact that they identified disgust, for example, suggests that the expression showed more disgust than neutral, making ordinal scaling appropriate. The two dependent variables were measured for each level of the independent variable. The answer to the experiment's key question, that priming participants with an infectious threat would lead them to over perceive disgust expressions in faces, was found in an analysis of the main effects of the independent variable."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Atemeyer, B. (1998). Enemies of freedom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Blackwell, C. C., Weir, D. M., & Busuttil, A. (1995). Infectious agents, the inflammatory responses of infants and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Molecular Medicine Today, 1, 72-78.
  • Bozman, R., Saxon, E., Utt, K. (Producers), & Demme, J. (Director). (1991). The silence of the lambs [Motion picture]. United States: Orion Pictures.
  • Brown, J. K. M. (2003). A cost of disease-resistance: Paradigm or peculiarity. Trends in Genetics, 19, 667-671.
  • Curtis, V., & Biran, A. (2001). Dirt, disgust, and disease: Is hygiene in our genes? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 44, 17-31.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Detecting Emotions in Facial Expressions (2009, December 24) Retrieved December 04, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Detecting Emotions in Facial Expressions" 24 December 2009. Web. 04 December. 2021. <>