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Comparative Study

| Published: December 05, 2017

A Cultural Comparison of the Facial Inference Process

Janine K. Swiney

Master’s Student of Experimental Psychology, Central Washington University, Washington State, USA Google Scholar More about the auther

, Anthony J. Stahelski

Professor of Psychology, Central Washington University, Washington State, USA Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.072/20170501

DOI: 10.25215/0501.072

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to compare emotion and personality trait attributions to facial expression between American and Indian samples. Data were collected using Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Participants in this study were asked to correctly identify the emotion and make inferences from pictures of three different facial expressions (scowling, frowning, and smiling) of young white females and males in six photographs. Each picture was randomly presented for 10 seconds followed by four randomized questions about the individual in the picture. The first question asked participants to identify the emotion shown from a list of six emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise). The next three questions consisted of a) condensed sets of the Big Five personality traits, b) the three Self-Assessment Manikin dimensions (SAM), ands) various social perceptions. Smiling facial expressions were hypothesized to be inferred as happy and to have the following positive inferences in both cultures: attractive, not threatening, agreeable, extroverted, and pleasing to look at, positive, conscientious, and open-minded a “Halo Effect.” Scowling facial expressions were hypothesized to have the following attributions: anger, unattractive, threatening, excitable, close-minded, not pleasing to look at, bad, negative, dominant, disagreeable, and unconscientiously a “Horns Effect.” Frowning facial expressions were hypothesized to be perceived as: sad, unattractive, good, submissive, not threatening, not pleasing to look at, positive, and calm anin-between effect. Generally, results showed that both cultures attributed the hypothesized emotional and trait attributions to the six facial expressions for all four questions, except for the Indians on the scowling female facial expression across each of the four questions.

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Janine K. Swiney @ stahelsa@cwu.edu

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Article Overview

ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

18.01.072/20170501

10.25215/0501.072

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Published in   Volume 05, Issue 1, October-December, 2017