According to mainstream views of emotion perception, facial expressions are powerful signals conveying specific emotional states. This approach, which endorsed the use of stereotypical-posed faces as stimuli, has typically ignored the role of context in emotion perception. We argue that this methodological tradition is flawed. Real-life facial expressions are often highly ambiguous, heavily relying on contextual information. We review recent work suggesting that context is an inherent part of real-life emotion perception, often leading to radical categorical changes. Contextual effects are not an obscurity at the fringe of facial emotion perception, rather, they are part of emotion perception itself.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by an Israel Science Foundation [ISF#1140/13] grant to Hillel Aviezer and by an EU Career Integration Grant to Hillel Aviezer [CIG #618597].
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