Older adults have poor recognition of isolated facial expressions, yet outside the lab, such faces are typically perceived with contextual expressive bodies. In fact, recent work suggests that real-life facial expressions may be ambiguous while contextual information such as body language may be more diagnostic for decoding emotions. We examined the recognition of emotion from incongruent face-body composites and found that compared to young adults, older adults gave the body far more weight when recognizing emotion. These results are consistent with a social-expertise view and suggest that in real-life, older adults may employ an advantageous holistic approach to emotion perception.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 1140/13) to Hillel Aviezer and by a European Union Career Integration Grant (Grant 618597) to Hillel Aviezer. A preliminary data report of these findings was presented as a poster by Yasmin Abo Foul at the International Convention of Psychological Science, Vienna, Austria (ICPS: 23-25 March 2017). We thank Omri Hadar for his skillful help in running the experiment.
© 2018 The Author(s).
- Body language
- Emotional integration
- Facial expression
- Incongruent emotions