Biased recognition of happy facial expressions in social anxiety.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Recognizing emotional expressions is central to understanding the feelings and intentions of other people. Little is known about how social anxiety affects the recognition of emotional expressions. Recent research finds a recognition advantage for happy expressions over negative expressions. In two experiments, social anxiety moderated the recognition advantage of happy faces. People low and high in social anxiety recognized sad faces (Experiment 1) and angry faces (Experiment 2) equally quickly, but people high in social anxiety took longer to recognize happy faces. Both groups showed a significant recognition advantage for happy faces, although the advantage was at least twice as large in the low social-anxiety group. The discussion focuses on mechanisms connecting social anxiety to face processing and on the role of expression recognition in other emotional-processing biases.

Additional Information

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25, 585-602
Language: English
Date: 2006
Emotional expressions, Social anxiety, Expression recognition

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