Sensitivity to genuine versus posed emotion specified in facial displays

Tracey McLellan, Lucy Johnston, John Dalrymple-Alford, Richard Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments were performed to investigate whether social perceivers were sensitive to the veracity of sad and fear facial displays as well as happiness. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to consider in blocks whether targets were happy or not, sad or not, fearful or not. Triads of photographs (neutral, posed, genuine) were displayed and results showed participants were sensitive to whether each emotion was present and distinguished posed from genuine displays. This sensitivity was emotion specific. In Experiment 2, participants completed a priming task to eliminate instructions to judge target displays. Neutral, posed and genuine displays from a single target were used as primes in a word valance identification task. The results revealed faster responding to positive words following genuine than posed happiness and faster responding to negative words following genuine than posed fear. Together the two experiments demonstrated perceiver sensitivity to negative emotion in an explicit and implicit context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1292
Number of pages16
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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