Configural information in facial expression perception.

Abstract

Composite facial expressions were prepared by aligning the top half of one expression (e.g., anger) with the bottom half of another (e.g., happiness). Experiment 1 shows that participants are slower to identify the expression in either half of these composite images relative to a "noncomposite" control condition in which the 2 halves are misaligned. This parallels the composite effect for facial identity (A. W. Young, D. Hellawell, & D. C. Hay, 1987), and like its identity counterpart, the effect is disrupted by inverting the stimuli (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 shows that no composite effect is found when the top and bottom sections contain different models' faces posing the same expression; this serves to exclude many nonconfigural interpretations of the composite effect (e.g., that composites are more "attention-grabbing" than noncomposites). Finally, Experiment 4 demonstrates that the composite effects for identity and expression operate independently of one another.

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@article{Calder2000ConfiguralII, title={Configural information in facial expression perception.}, author={A J Calder and A W Young and J Keane and M Dean}, journal={Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance}, year={2000}, volume={26 2}, pages={527-51} }