Perceiving emotionally incongruent cues from faces and bodies: Older adults get the whole picture

Yasmin Abo Foul*, Renana Eitan, Hillel Aviezer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)660-666
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding 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.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Body language
  • Context
  • Emotional integration
  • Facial expression
  • Incongruent emotions


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceiving emotionally incongruent cues from faces and bodies: Older adults get the whole picture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this