Research on the relationship between context and facial expressions generally assumes a unidirectional effect of context on expressions. However, according to the model of the meaning of emotion expressions in context (MEEC) the effect should be bidirectional. The present research tested the effect of emotion expression on the interpretation of scenes. A total of 380 participants either (a) rated facial expressions with regard to the likely appraisal of the eliciting situation by the emoter, (b) appraised the scenes alone or (c) appraised scenes shown together with the expressions they supposedly elicited. The findings strongly supported the MEEC. When a scene was combined with an expression signalling a situation that is undesirable, or high in locus of control or sudden, the participants appraised the scene correspondingly. Thus, the meaning of scenes is malleable and affected by the way that people are seen to react to them.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- Facial expression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)