Features of Recognizing Facial Expressions in Short Time Intervals: the Level of Anxiety and Professional Affiliation

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate how differences in anxiety levels relate to selective sensitivity to basic emotions (emotional bias) with minimal exposure time. Masked pictures of happiness, angry, fear, disgust, surprise, sad and neutral facial expressions were presented to 298 men at exposure times in intervals 16ms, 34ms, 49ms, 66ms. After presenting each image, the participants chose on the screen by pressing a key the name of an emotion suitable, in their opinion, Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (TMAS) was used to measure of trait anxiety. There were subjects of various professional groups (firefighters, military, athletes, psychologists, mathematicians). We found that Selective sensitivity to basic emotions at exposure times up to 49ms is determined by internal interpolation of the perceiver’s personality. Highly anxious men are unconsciously more likely to choose fear, anger and disgust. The increase in anxiety are accompanied by decreased preference of anger and happiness. Low-anxious men unconsciously ignore fear, anger, disgust, and preferred neutral face. Men of different professions are differed in the level of anxiety and emotional bias in basic emotions. Firefighters have the lowest level of anxiety, mathematics have the highest.

General Information

Keywords: selective sensitivity to basic emotions, emotional bias, microgenesis of perception, Ekman’s JACFEE Set of Stimuli, anxiety

Journal rubric: Psychology of Perception

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/exppsy.2021140307

Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 18-013-00828.

For citation: Khrisanfova L.A. Features of Recognizing Facial Expressions in Short Time Intervals: the Level of Anxiety and Professional Affiliation. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2021. Vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 91–103. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2021140307. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Lyudmila A. Khrisanfova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Chair of General Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Associate Employee of the Laboratory of Cognitive and Mathematical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6697-7939, e-mail: l.hri@mail.ru

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