How Emotional Context Influences Facial Preferences and Impressions
Satomi Hara, Kentaro Katahira, Kazuo Okanoya
1Center for Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan 2Emotional Information Joint Research Laboratory, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Saitama, Japan.
1College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan 2ERATO, Okanoya Emotional Information Project, Japan Science Technology Agency, Saitama, Japan.
1ERATO, Okanoya Emotional Information Project, Japan Science Technology Agency, Saitama, Japan 2Center for Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan 3Emotional Information Joint Research Laboratory, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Saitama, Japan 4Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
DOI: 10.4236/psych.2013.410107   PDF   HTML     4,044 Downloads   5,969 Views  

Abstract

Individuals change their evaluations of human faces depending on the valence of the stimuli presented with the faces. The present study investigated whether repeatedly presenting picture stimuli in pairs would evoke various emotions that would influence the subjects’ preferences for and impressions of facial stimuli. The subjects’ preferences for the facial stimuli did not differ consistently between before and after the facial stimuli were presented in tandem with emotional pictures. The direction of the change differed depending on the sex of the participant and the sex of face stimulus, even when the face was paired with a picture of the same valence. The emotional pictures appeared to have an effect on the emotions experienced in response to the face stimuli: the male participants, who were likely to feel pleasant emotions toward the pleasant pictures, were also likely to feel positive emotions toward the face stimuli paired with those pictures. Moreover, the female participants, who were likely to feel unpleasant emotions toward the unpleasant pictures, were also likely to feel afraid of the male faces paired with those pictures. These results suggest that the ability of an emotional stimulus to affect our preferences for and impressions of a face stimulus, as well as the degree of this effect, are highly sensitive to factors such as the sex of the participant and the sex of facial stimulus.

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Hara, S. , Katahira, K. & Okanoya, K. (2013). How Emotional Context Influences Facial Preferences and Impressions. Psychology, 4, 753-759. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.410107.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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