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Locating the neutral expression in the facial-emotion space

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Abstract:

Woodworth and Schlosberg (1954) introduced a two-dimensional model of emotional expression perception. Since then, many refinements have been made based on a variety of different methodologies. These show robust findings as to the structure of facial-emotion space. One disputed finding, however, is the location of the neutral face within this space. Some evidence suggests it should be located at the centre of the space, whereas other evidence places it at the periphery as an emotion in its own right. The current experiment used objective similarity judgements on 25 emotions posed by the same individual. Multidimensional scaling was employed to find a perceptual facial-emotion space. This space confirmed the general arrangement of emotions in such a space and locates neutral faces at the periphery. It appears, therefore, that the neutral face is an emotion in itself and cannot be seen as an absence of emotion.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13506280244000203

Affiliations: School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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