ERIC Number: ED338363
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Processing of Emotional Expressions as Discrete and Global Categories.
This study explored the use of analytic and holistic modes of processing in the recognition of emotional expressions as discrete and global categories. Five- and seven-year-olds and adults were presented with a series of slides that showed different parts of faces depicting either happiness, surprise, fear, or anger. Slides ranged from single features to full faces. In the discrete categories condition, individuals were asked to press a button for each of the target emotions. In the global categories condition, the target terms were "feels good" and "feels bad." Results indicated that the mouth was the dominant feature for happiness and the eyes were the dominant feature for fear and anger. There were more correct responses to the nondominant feature for each emotion in the global condition than in the discrete condition. Individual features were more useful in identifying global categories than discrete categories, and younger children relied more on single features than combinations of features. For younger children, surprise had positive associations, but the expression of surprise was perceived as an expression of a negative emotion. Results suggested that the ability to recognize emotional expressions follows different courses of development for different emotions. A list of 13 references is included. (BC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Discrete Variables; Emotions; Negative Affect; Positive Affect; Surprise
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).